Minnesota reports 29 new COVID-19 deaths, 590 cases

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 590 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 29 new deaths Friday. The total number of positive cases the state the state has seen so far is now 23,531 and the death toll has risen to 996.

Residents of long-term care facilities now account for approximately 12 percent of Minnesota's positive COVID-19 cases, but about 81 percent of deaths. 

There are currently 592 people hospitalized for COVID-19, with 259 of them in the ICU. Nearly 13 percent of Minnesota's COVID-19 cases have required hospitalization. 

MDH has begun publicizing more COVID-19 data about health care workers. According to the latest report, 2,603 health care workers have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Approximately 73 percent of patients confirmed to have COVID-19 have now recovered and no longer need to self-isolate. 

TESTING CONTINUES TO INCREASE

State and private labs reported 8,676 completed tests in a 24-hour period Thursday. 

Last month, Gov. Tim Walz announced a “moonshot” project with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to boost the state’s testing capacity to 20,000 tests per day within three to four weeks. 

Everyone with symptoms is now eligible for a test and 127 testing sites have been set up around the state. 

TWO COUNTIES STILL REPORTING NO CONFIRMED CASES

Eighty-five of Minnesota's 87 counties now have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Cook and Lake of the Woods are the only counties that have yet to report a confirmed case, although health officials say the virus is likely circulating in every Minnesota community, whether a county has a confirmed case or not.

LIVE MAP: A county-by-county breakdown of Minnesota's COVID-19 cases

MDH confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Minnesota on March 6. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. 

The state has launched an online dashboard  where the public can find data regarding COVID-19 testing, supplies and more. It can be found here. 

COVID-19 HOTLINES

MDH has three hotlines for questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The hotline for health questions is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number to call is 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. 

The hotline for community mitigation (schools, childcare, business) questions is also open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number to call is 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504. 

The hotline for housing questions is 651-296-8215 for single-family residences and 651-297-4455 for multi-family residences. The hotline is staff Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The state has also launched a helpline for people to report incidents of bias or discrimination resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The number to call is  1-833-454-0148. Translation and interpretation services are available. 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. 

It can also spread when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

Some recent studies have also suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscles aches, headache, sore throat or diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you can manage them at home, MDH says you do not need to go to the doctor or get tested. Instead, you should do the following: 

Stay home

Wash your hands often

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, towels, bedding, etc. 

Clean surfaces you touch often

If your symptoms worsen or you notice any of the emergency warning signs (trouble breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or not being able to wake up, bluish lips or face), call your health can provider right away. 

People are advised to call their doctor or clinic before going in, if possible. They will give you instructions to help protect you and other patients. 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19

The CDC and MDH recommend Minnesotans do the following to protect themselves and their loved ones and limit the spread of COVID-19: 

Stay home and avoid gatherings with people outside of your household

Keep 6 feet of space between yourself and other people when you do go out

Wash your hands often

Cover your coughs and sneezes 

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Clean surfaces that you touch often 

The CDC is now recommending people wear face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies as well as in areas that are seeing significant community transmission of the virus. 

Wearing a mask can not only prevent you from getting sick, but also helps people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.