Minnesota reports 46 COVID-19 deaths Friday, 2nd-highest death toll to date

Minnesota health officials reported 46 additional deaths from COVID-19 Friday, the second most in a single day since the pandemic began. 

The deaths included a 21-year-old Clay County resident with no known underlying health conditions, according to Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

The second-highest death toll to date comes as Minnesota set new single-day records for both deaths and cases this week with 56 deaths reported Wednesday and over 7,200 new cases Thursday

Minnesota has now seen a total of 2,839 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 248 of those were reported in the past seven days. 

With the exception of the 21-year-old Clay County resident, an Itasca County resident in their late 50s and a few people in their 60s, most of the deaths reported Friday were people 70 and older. 

Thirteen of the 46 deaths were in the Twin Cities metro while 33 were in Greater Minnesota. Thirty-three of the deaths were people who resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities. 

MDH also reported 5,552 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Minnesota has reported over 37,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past week. To date, the state has seen 207,339 cases of COVID-19. 

The 5,552 newly reported cases were out of a record 51,241 tests completed in 24 hours—a positivity rate of 10.8%.

The seven-day average testing positivity rate, which indicates whether the state is keeping pace with the virus, is now 13.1%, up from 9.8% a week ago, although it is a lagging indicator. A high positivity rate suggests a community is testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases. 

There are currently 1,424 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in Minnesota -- an all-time high -- with 293 in intensive care. Hospital executives said this week that hundreds of health care workers are off the job because of community exposure, and they fear short staffing.