Minnesota reports 6,399 new COVID-19 cases, 72 deaths Wednesday

Minnesota heath officials reported 6,399 new cases of COVID-19 and 72 additional deaths Wednesday.

There have been 289,303 cases of COVID-19 and 3,375 deaths from the disease in Minnesota since the pandemic began, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data. Of the total cases, more than 49,000 are active and require the infected person to isolate. 

Governor Tim Walz was asked about the 72 new deaths just one day after Wisconsin reported more than 100 deaths in a single day. 

"It breaks my heart to say this, we’re about 10 or 14 days behind Wisconsin. They had 104 people die today. So you can start to do the math," he said.

It has been over 10 days since Minnesota saw its highest ever daily case count of 8,703 cases, reported on Nov. 14. However, with case counts still fluctuating from day to day, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said she does not consider it to be a reliable downward trend in cases just yet. 

“While we’ve certainly been pleased to see somewhat lower case counts in some of the recent days, we think that this might be another of those patterns that we’ve seen earlier in the epidemic, this series of waves," Malcolm said. "Possibly we are in a trough now between waves and I don’t necessarily think that what we are seeing in recent days represents the downside of a peak." 

Minnesota is currently averaging over 6,500 new cases of COVID-19 per day. MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Monday that at the current pace, the state will surpass 300,000 total cases of COVID-19 by Thanksgiving and could see another 100,000 cases within 15 days. 

The newly reported cases of COVID-19 was on a volume of 65,552 completed tests—a positivity rate of about 9%. 

Forty-eight of the people who died were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities and two lived in group or residential behavioral health homes.

Hospitals in Minnesota are gererally pretty full, Malcom said, with about 1,080 more beds occupied by COVID-19 patients now than at the beginning of the month.