Minnesota reports 6,812 COVID-19 cases, 68 deaths Friday

Minnesota health officials reported 6,812 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 additional deaths Friday as the state is about to put a four-week pause on bars and restaurants, gyms and sports.

This week, Minnesota hit new daily highs for COVID-19 cases and deaths, with 8,703 cases reported Sunday and 72 deaths Thursday

There have been 256,700 COVID-19 cases and 3,150 deaths from the disease in Minnesota since the pandemic began, according to the state Department of Health data. There are currently 54,268 active cases of the coronavirus that require isolation. 

The 6,812 newly reported COVID-19 cases were on a volume of 58,622 completed tests—a positivity rate of 11.6%. The key indicator, the state’s 7-day moving average positivity rate is now 14.5%, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Tracking Project. The World Health Organization says a positivity rate above 5% indicates a community may be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases. 

Twenty-five of the 68 deaths reported Friday were in the Twin Cities metro while the other 43 were in Greater Minnesota. The deaths included two people in their 40s and two in their late 50s. The rest of the deaths were people 60 or older. 

Of the 68 people who died were residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities. To date, approximately 71% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been in those types of facilities. 

There are currently 1,751 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, 367 of whom are in the ICU, according to the latest MDH data. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota have increased 136% over the last two weeks, the fourth highest rate of increase in the nation, according to the NBC News COVID-19 tracker. 

With COVID-19 cases surging across Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz is shutting down dining in bars and restaurants, closing gyms and fitness centers and pausing sports for four weeks in an attempt to slow the spread. The new restrictions go into effect Friday at 11:59 p.m.