Minnesota sees low COVID-19 testing, case numbers for 3rd consecutive day due to Labor Day reporting delays

Minnesota reported a third consecutive day of low COVID-19 testing and a low number of new cases Thursday due to a delay in reporting over Labor Day weekend. 

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 389 more cases from 7,903 more tests Thursday–a positivity rate of 4.9%. The 7-day positivity rate in Minnesota was 7.7% as of Labor Day. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH, as its suggests a higher rate of community transmission.

MDH reported 15 more deaths with COVID-19 a factor. Eleven of the deaths were in long-term care facilities, which account for nearly 73 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. 

There are currently 138 COVID-19 patients in the ICU. ICU cases have remained in the 130s for 18 of the last 19 days. There are 119 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, but not in the ICU—down 60 from 12 days ago and the lowest that number has been since July 10. 

The next few weeks of data should reveal what impact Labor Day gatherings travel had on Minnesota’s COVID-19 infection rate, as well as the return to school in some areas.

Minnesota has now seen a total of 82,249 COVID-19 cases and 1,884 deaths from the disease. 


For the first time in six weeks, one Minnesota county—Waseca—now has case rates high enough for the state to recommend full distance learning for all students after recording more than 50 cases per 10,000 people in the latest data reporting period from Aug. 16 to Aug. 29.  

Eight counties now have case rates high enough to fall under the state’s second highest level of recommended guidance, hybrid learning for elementary students and distance learning for middle and high school students, up five from the previous data reporting period. Those counties are Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Lyon, Nobles, Sibley, Watonwan, Winona and Yellow Medicine. 

Thirty-five of Minnesota’s 87 counties now have case rates low enough for the state to recommend full in-person learning for all students.  

MDH releases weekly school guidance every Thursday, which includes data showing the number of cases by county over 14 days per 10,000 people. The data is intended to be used by schools in making decisions about their safe learning model.

Recommended learning models based on county case data

  • In-person learning for all students: 0 to less than 10 cases per 10,000 people
  • Elementary in-person, Middle/high school hybrid: 10 to less than 20 cases per 10,000 people
  • Both hybrid: 20 to less than 30 case per 10,000 people
  • Elementary hybrid, Middle/high school distance: 30 to less than 50 cases per 10,000 people
  • Both distance: 50 or more cases per 10,000