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Health officials: the cornerstone of the New Minn virus. Show significant transmission



Minnesota reported more than 1,500 recently confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday, a record high for new cases that comes amid concerns over the steep rise in COVID-19 counts in neighboring states.

The tally, on one of the highest one-day test totals, reflects significant virus transmission across the state at a time when other pandemic indicators are signaling problems, health officials said.

State data released last week showed that the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is on the rise. The median age of infected people is also starting to rise, and more cases are being found among long-term health care workers.

“I think a lot of people are worried that the Upper Midwest is becoming a real hot spot,”

; said Dr. Timothy Schacker, Deputy Dean of Research at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

“In Minnesota, the hospitalization rate appears to be rising. So people are worried that we are making the transition with coronavirus again from the 20s to the 70s. “

As case rates in three neighboring states led the nation last week, Minnesota ranked 17th in population-adjusted case growth in a recent seven-day period, according to a Brown tracking website. University. North and South Dakota and Wisconsin reported more than 40 new cases every day for every 100,000 people, while the Minnesota rate was about 20 cases for every 100,000 people.

Transmission is widespread and occurs at family reunions and neighborhood gatherings along with bars, restaurants, and college campuses, said Michael Osterholm of the United States Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

“Right now we’re surrounded by burning homes in Wisconsin, Iowa and Dakota,” Osterholm said.

“Between pandemic fatigue and pandemic rage, people are out doing all those things that put them at greater risk of transmission. We just started here. We haven’t even begun to see how bad it will go. “

On Thursday, the state Department of Health unveiled a revamped dashboard for tracking COVID-19 admissions and critical care cases across Minnesota. The data showed that during a 15-day period ending October 7, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased in Minnesota by more than a third, said Pinar Karaca-Mandic, a health researcher at the U. Carlson School of Management.

“It’s probably still OK in terms of the capabilities we have, but it’s worrying that it’s increasing faster,” said Karaca-Mandic, who runs a website that tracks COVID-19 hospitalizations in dozens of states.

While COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise, the magnitude of the increase is “mild,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, president and chief executive officer of the Minnesota Hospital Association. The percentage increase varies between comparison dates, he said, and seems higher when you include the previous week’s data that wasn’t fully verified.

“Hospitals and healthcare systems across Minnesota feel prepared,” he said, noting that the dashboard shows that COVID-19 patients account for only 12 percent of all ICU beds. Capacity within intensive care units is at typical levels, Koranne said, even for those in the Twin Cities subway.

The Department of Health reported another 10 deaths on Saturday, bringing the week’s toll to 60, slightly lower than the previous week. Five of the recently reported deaths were in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Since the start of the pandemic, Minnesota has reported 110,828 confirmed cases and 8,302 hospitalizations. The state saw 2,131 deaths from COVID-19, including 1,518 among long-term care residents.

Looking at the reported cases on Saturday, the seven-day average for new infections in Minnesota also hit a new high. Over the past week, the state has recorded an average of about 1,149 new cases per day out of a daily average of about 24,494 tests.

The share of positive test results remained around 5%. According to the World Health Organization, a “positive rate” of less than 5% for two weeks is one of several criteria that should be met to consider easing pandemic restrictions.

“The fact that we are continuing to see the high positive rate of the test, despite the large amount of testing we are doing, means that there is a lot of viruses circulating in the state,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of the state. pathology of infectious infections. “There is so much COVID that even though we’re doing a lot of testing … it’s not [diluting things] because there is so much out there. “

Infections among young adults were driving the growth of cases this summer, Ehresmann said, but this is starting to shift towards older people. This fits with a shift in epidemics in environments that attract an older crowd, he said, including weddings, funerals and demonstrations.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was discovered in circulation late last year. Since the first case was reported in Minnesota in early March, hospital stays have been required in 8,302 cases.

The disease usually causes mild or moderate illness. But people with a variety of health problems, as well as those who are older or live in long-term care settings, are at greater risk for severe cases that could lead to hospitalizations.

The state hospital capacity dashboard was not updated Saturday afternoon. In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, hospital space is much tighter than normal for this time of year, but COVID-19 cases aren’t the only factor, said Dr. John Hick, an emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare advising the state on its pandemic response.

The pandemic has forced many delays in routine care, but those patients are returning for treatment, sometimes with more complications, Hick said. Many health systems operate medical centers in Minnesota and surrounding states, so Hick fears that trends elsewhere may eventually lead to patients being relocated to Minnesota.

The Mayo Clinic has seen a “slight increase” in patients over the past two weeks, but there has been no need to transfer patients or discontinue non-emergency care to create space, said Dr. Daniel Brown, an anesthetist who heads a program. to coordinate critical care resources at the Rochester Clinic.

HealthPartners, which operates seven hospitals, has seen an increase in patient volume that appears to reflect the increase in case counts, said Dr. Mark Sannes, an infectious disease physician at Bloomington Health System. An increasing share of COVID-19 hospitalizations come from health system medical centers outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

“It certainly gives everyone a break to see the huge per capita numbers across Dakota and Wisconsin right now,” Sannes said. “What worries us is that Wisconsin was where we are now [in terms of cases] just a month ago. So this can move very quickly. “

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