Minnesota reports record 2,297 COVID-19 cases, 44,398 tests Friday

Minnesota health officials reported 2,297 newly reported cases of COVID-19 Friday out of 44,398 completed tests—both new single-day highs for the state. 

Of the newly reported cases, 2,287 were confirmed through polymerse chain reaction (PCR) testing and 10 were from antigen testing, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data. Minnesota has now seen a total of 119,396 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

Friday's record COVID-19 case count is 50% higher than the previous daily high of 1,537 reported last Saturday, a significant jump in just one week, according to Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. 

“I’m very saddened and frankly deeply worried about today’s number, but I’m sadly not surprised," Malcolm said during Friday's MDH briefing. 

Minnesota's coronavirus case numbers have been climbing for a number of weeks, Malcolm said. The state has reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for 12 of the last 16 days. 

The record number of newly reported cases Friday followed a similarly record-setting surge in testing, keeping the positivity rate relatively unchanged at 5.1%. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate is 5.3%—up from 5% at this time last week, according to Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates widespread disease growth in the state. 

MDH also reported 13 more deaths Friday. Five of the last seven days have had deaths in the double-digits, including a record high 29 deaths reported on Wednesday. 

All of the 13 newly reported deaths were people 55 or older. Six were in long-term care facilities and two were in a group home. Only two of the deaths were in the Twin Cities metro. 

Malcolm says hospitalizations are trending upward in Minnesota. On Friday, there were 461 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota—131 of whom are in the ICU. 

However, state health officials say hospital bed capacity is less of a concern than community spread of COVID-19 to hospital staff. Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis said Friday that every hospital system in Minnesota has had to take beds offline when health workers have to quaratine either due to contracting the coronavirus or being exposed to a case. 

As of Thursday, there are 24 schools statewide with five or more cases of COVID-19—up from 11 the week before. Four of the schools are in the Twin Cities metro: Blaine High School, Chanhassen High School, Maple Grove Senior High and Park Center IB World School in Brooklyn Park. 

MDH updates its list of pre-K through grade 12 schools with five or more cases of COVID-19 every Thursday.