1 in 5 COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are health care workers, MDH says

State health officials say one in five of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota are health care workers. 

Of the state’s 503 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 133 are health care workers, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. 

It is important to keep in mind, however, that health care workers are likely disproportionately represented in the number of confirmed cases due to the restricted critiera to test for COVID-19. Due to a nationwide shortage of tests, MDH is currently giving priority to hospitalized patients as well as ill health care workers and ill persons living in congregating living setting such as long-term care, when testing for the disease.  

Health officials maintain that the number of confirmed cases in Minnesota is an undercount due to lack of widespread testing

Not all of the health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 believe they contracted it from their patients. Health officials told FOX 9 that multiple health care workers might have acquired it from their community, rather than patients. There have only been a couple of instances where a cluster of health care workers who worked together and were exposed to the same COVID-19 patient or a single health care worker who had a known exposure to a known COVID-19 patient contracted the illness. 

Health care workers have repeatedly called for more personal protective equipment for those working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Last week, Gov. Tim Walz ordered all non-hospital entities to complete an inventory of all PPE, including N95 masks, and prepare to donate their items in an effort to address the short of this equipment in hospitals.