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The daily coronavirus update: six more deaths, 1,177 new cases in Minnesota

MinnPost provides updates on coronavirus in Minnesota Sunday through Friday. The information is published following a press phone call with members of the Walz administration or after the release of daily COVID-19 figures by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Here are the latest updates from Sept. 25, 2020:

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94,189 confirmed cases; 1,994 deaths

Six more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 1,994. 

Of the deaths announced Friday, four people were in their 80s and two were in their 70s. Three were residents of long-term care facilities.

The current death toll only includes Minnesotans with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests.

MDH also said Friday there have been 94,189 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of positives is up 1,177 from Thursday’s count and is based on 28,230 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 7,931 Minnesotans have been hospitalized.

On Thursday, MDH changed the way it’s reporting hospitalizations in Minnesota. Instead of reporting the number of people who are currently hospitalized and in intensive care, the department is reporting the number of new admissions to the hospital and the ICU each day. As of publication, MinnPost was still waiting for clarification from MDH on how to account for the change.

Of the 94,189 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 84,256 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

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Statewide study stopped due to racial slurs, threats to surveyors

The Centers for Disease Control has stopped a study aimed at determining the breadth of COVID-19’s spread in Minnesota due to Minnesotans hurling racial and ethnic slurs at public health surveyors.

As teams visited communities in Minnesota, a pattern emerged where groups of surveyors that included people of color faced racial slurs. In one incident in Eitzen, in Houston County, a team of two CDC employees and one contract nurse were walking up to a house when two cars pulled up and boxed in their car. Three men got out and one had his hand on a holstered gun, and they directed racial epithets toward the public health workers.

“The team felt that the intent was to intimidate and scare them, and that the community members did not trust our team was who they said they were,” said Assistant Commissioner Daniel Huff.

Huff said the incident wasn’t isolated and that in other incidents, a dog walker or neighbor questioned the teams, yelled at them or threatened to call the police.

“This is disappointing on multiple levels,” Huff said. “Through the [survey], we had hoped to better understand how COVID-19 is spreading in Minnesota and how it is affecting people. That kind of understanding could have helped us improve multiple aspects of our response.”

“There is a difference between disagreeing with a policy or an elected official and taking out frustrations on a public health person who is trying to do their job and help the community as best they can,” Huff said. 

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More community testing sites

MDH is partnering with local public health entities to offer free COVID-19 testing at locations in Bemidji, Bloomington, Maplewood, Marshall, Moorhead, and Thief River Falls.

Locations, times and dates are as follows. Appointments are encouraged, and more information can be found here.

Bemidji Armory: Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Thursday, Oct. 1, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bloomington, Normandale Community College parking ramp:  Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Thursday, Oct. 1, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Maplewood Aldrich Arena: Weekdays 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Tuesday, Sept. 29, Wednesday, Sept. 30, and Thursday, Oct. 1. Weekends 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Saturday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 3.

Marshall Red Baron Arena and Expo Center: Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Thursday, Oct. 1. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Moorhead Armory: Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Thursday, Oct. 1. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Thief River Falls Huck Olson Civic Arena: Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Thursday, Oct. 1, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Today on MinnPost

Around the web

  • The website COVID-19 Exit Strategy has downgraded Minnesota to a land of “uncontrolled spread” of the virus, via the Strib.
  • Florida is lifting restrictions on restaurants and gatherings as it moves into Phase 3 of reopening, writes the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  • The U of M’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy briefs some research that suggests viral loads may be lessening ICU usage and deaths.

MDH’s coronavirus website:

Hotline, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 651-201-3920

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