Minnesota test provider's backlog results in largest single-day COVID-19 case increase to date in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health reported its largest single-day COVID-19 case increase to date Thursday, which the Department of Health says is a result of inconsistent reporting from one of its test providers. 

The state says Valley Medical has had an "inconsistent record of reporting results" to the state in violation of the requirements of the communicable disease reporting rule. 

In a statement, the Department of Health said: 

After MDH followed up with Valley Medical, the company provided almost 19,000 test results to MDH as required. We have started to process the data, and today’s new cases include a batch of 265 positive cases from that provider. These cases from Valley Medical have specimen dates from the past two weeks. Today’s data set also includes 4,658 tests from Valley Medical. The remaining 14,000 test results still need to be processed by our team and will be included in case counts and testing numbers into early next week.

According to the Department of Health, more than 1.4 million Minnesotans have been tested to date after the more than 21,000 tests were completed Wednesday. 1,158 new COVID-19 cases were also reported Thursday morning, bringing the statewide total to 72,390. 

Of those cases, 64,876 no longer need isolation, but 1,806 Minnesotans have died from COVID-19. 

305 people remain hospitalized with the virus, 139 of which are in intensive care. 

The 20-24-year-old age range remains the group with the highest COVID-19 case totals with 9,363 cases, followed by the 25-29-year-old age group with 7,345. 

Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday Minnesota has partnered with Vault Health, the nation's leading distributor of saliva testing, to build a new COVID-19 saliva testing lab in the state. The lab would more than double the state's testing capacity, which currently hovers between 20,000 and 22,000 tests per day. The lab is expected to be up and running by early October. 

All 87 Minnesota counties have now seen at least three cases of COVID-19.

LIVE MAP: A county-by-county breakdown of Minnesota's COVID-19 cases

Data released Tuesday shows the 20-24-year-old age range has the highest percentage of COVID-19 cases with approximately 13 percent, followed by the 25-29-year-old age range has with 10 percent and the 30-34-year-old age range with 9 percent.