Here are the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
ST PAUL, Minn. — Friday, June 26
- Minnesotans in their 20s become age group with the most COVID-19 cases in the state
- Gov. Walz announces plan to provide $853 million in aid to communities impacted by the coronavirus
Numbers released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continue an upward trend in new cases of COVID-19.
MDH says 498 Minnesotans tested positive for the virus in the last 24-hour reporting period, up from the 365 reported Thursday. In all 34,616 confirmed cases have been diagnosed since the pandemic began. Private and state labs processed 14,560 tests yesterday, bringing the overall total to 557,278.
The number of new COVID-19 related deaths reported Friday is five, stretching the number of consecutive days with single-digit deaths to six. Overall, 1,411 fatalities have been reported.
Hospitalization numbers also remain steady, with 335 people being treated for coronavirus in Minnesota hospitals. Of those patients, 157 have symptoms serious enough to require treatment in the ICU. MDH says 30,008 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered enough to no longer require isolation.
Thursday’s big development was the revelation that people between the ages of 20 and 29 now make up the largest group of diagnosed COVID-19 cases. Numbers shared Friday indicate that trend continues, with people from that age group accounting for 7,045 cases, more than the 6,908 represented by people between 30 and 39. Those ages 80 to 89 account for just 1,536 of the cases, but 484 of the deaths, 34% of Minnesota’s total.
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Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced a plan on Thursday to provide nearly $853 million in aid to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a news release, the plan – which still requires approval from the Legislative Advisory Commission – would allocate $841 million of the funds to counties, cities and towns to assist these government entities with their COVID relief efforts. The additional $12 million is intended to combat hunger across the state, by supporting local food shelves and food banks.
“As we work to support the health and safety of all Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also taking steps to build a stronger and more equitable economy,” Governor Walz said in a statement. “This funding will bring much-needed relief to communities across the state as we continue to battle this pandemic together.”
In justification for the $12 million component, the government cites “unprecedented demand” for the products provided by food shelves and food banks. There has been a nearly 30% jump in food shelf visits since the pandemic began dramatically impacting American life. The release cites a 20% to 40% increase in distributed products via food banks since 2019, amounting to approximately 2.4 million pounds of food being distributed per week.
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“Access to nutritious food is a cornerstone of a safe and healthy life, and for too many Minnesotans, that need hasn’t gone away during this pandemic—it has increased,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan in the news release. “Using CARES Act funding to alleviate this need is one way we can directly improve the lives of Minnesotans most impacted by COVID-19. While the Legislature was not able to come to a final agreement to distribute this funding, their work was critical in determining the greatest needs across our state.”
The release goes on to state that the $841 million allocated to support local relief efforts can be used to fund local government services, in addition to providing grants for businesses, hospitals and individuals impacted by COVID.
The funding will be distributed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDR) based on a “per capita formula developed by the state legislature during special session.” The formula is as follows.
- Counties with population under 500,000: $121.28 x county population
- Cities with population over 200: $75.34 x city population
- Organized towns with population over 5,000: $75.34 x organized town population
- Towns with population over 200 and under 4,999: $25 x town population
The release states that funding for cities or towns under 200 individuals will be distributed by their respective counties using the following formula.
- Cities with population under 200: $75.34 x city population
- Organized towns with population under 200: $25 x town population
If the funding is approved by congress, MDR will begin to dole out the aid on a “rolling basis” starting the week of June 29, 2020.
The latest numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect a shift in the age group that accounts for the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Minnesotans between the ages of 20 and 29 are now the largest group of those testing positive, accounting for 6,854 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That age group nudged ahead of those 30 to 39, who account for 6,834 cases and were previously the largest group of those testing positive.
People between the ages of 80 and 89 make up just 1,526 of the cases, but the largest number of deaths with 481.
Between private and state labs 13,072 coronavirus tests were processed in the latest 24-hour reporting period, revealing an additional 365 confirmed cases of the virus. That brings the total of Minnesotans testing positive to 34,123 since the pandemic began.
MDH says nine more people died of complications from COVID-19, bringing Minnesota’s total fatalities to 1,406. Of those, 1,107 deaths, or 79%, occurred in long-term or assisted living settings. An additional 35 deaths are listed as COVID-19 probable, meaning the virus is listed on that person’s death certificate but a positive test has not been documented.
Currently 336 people are hospitalized with symptoms of coronavirus, with 162 being treated in the ICU. Both numbers have been fairly steady or trending downward over the past several weeks.
Of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, 29,854 have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.