Minnesota reports record 2,872 new COVID-19 cases, 3rd most deaths

Minnesota health officials reported 2,872 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday—a new single-day record—and 32 more deaths—the tied for the third-highest daily total. 

The previous single-day high for new COVID-19 cases was 2,297, reported less than two weeks ago on Oct. 16. Minnesota has now seen a total of 142,311 cases of the coronavirus to date and 2,419 deaths. 

The 2,872 newly reported COVID-19 cases were out of 27,769 completed tests, the highest volume of tests Minnesota has reported this week, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data.  The rate of positive tests was 10.3%. It is the third time this week Minnesota has reported a daily positivity rate over 10%. 

The 7-day rolling positivity rate has continued to go up. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm reported Thursday it is now at 6.8%, although it is a lagging indicator. 

COVID-19 cases are now growing faster than testing in Minnesota—growth which Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm attributes to community spread, rather than one or two big events. 

The number of COVID-19 cases has increased 11.1% since last week, according to Malcolm. Testing is 7.2%. 

"The way things are going, I’m sorry to say, I don’t think that record is going to hold for very long," Malcolm said. 

Of the 32 newly reported deaths, 20 were in long-term care or assisted living facilities. The deaths ranged in age from 55 to over 100 years old. Minnesota is currently averaging around 17 deaths from COVID-19 per day. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Minnesota have skyrocketed this week. The number of people current hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped from 680 reported Wednesday to 694 Thursday. MDH data is current as of the previous day. Of those 694 patients, 173 are in the intensive care unit. 

MDH also released its latest county-by-county COVID-19 data. Over Labor Day, there were 70 counties were fewer than 20 cases per 10,000 residents. The latest data shows there are just seven counties now under that number. There are 25 counties with a case rate of over 50 cases per 10,000 residents. Health officials recommend full distance learning for schools within those counties.