Minnesota reports 862 more COVID-19 cases Friday as test backlog continues to skew case count, testing numbers

Minnesota health officials reported 862 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 16,319 completed tests Friday, although a backlog of test results from one of the state’s test providers continues to skew both numbers. 

Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health said Valley Medical has had an “inconsistent record of reporting results” to the state. After MDH followed up, the company provided more than 19,000 COVID-19 test results to the state as required. 

Health officials said test results from Valley Medical will be included in case counts and testing numbers into early next week. 

MDH will provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Minnesota Friday. FOX 9 will air the 2 p.m. conference call live at fox9.com/live

Four more people have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota, bringing the state’s death toll to 1,810, according to MDH. 

Minnesota has now seen 73,240 cases of COVID-19. Approximately 89 percent of those cases no longer need isolation. 

As of Friday, 301 people remain hospitalized for COVID-19, with 137 of them in the ICU—down slightly from the day before. 

To date, more than 1.1 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state. Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz announced the state had partnered with Vault Health, the nation's leading distributer of COVID-19 saliva testing, to open a new saliva testing lab in Minnesota that will more than double the state's test processing capacity, which currently hovers between 20,000 and 22,000 tests. 

People ages 20-24 remain the group with the highest percentage of COVID-19 cases with 13 percent, followed by the 25-29 age group with 10 percent and the 30-34 age group with 9 percent.