Positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Minnesota, although according to newly reported information on Monday, June 29, hospitalizations have decreased.
Minnesotans confirmed with COVID-19 has reached nearly 35,900 as of Monday. Wilkin County continues to remain with 20 total confirmed cases and three virus-related deaths. Clay County reports 560 cases and 37 deaths, Otter Tail County has 91 cases and one death, and Traverse County has five cases with no deaths.
The number of those diagnosed with the virus has trended upwards in the past week, although an increase in testing may be driving that trend in its direction. The newly reported cases appear to reflect a combination of the disease spreading as the state opens more and as more in the state are being tested.
Nearly 22,530 completed coronavirus tests over the weekend brought the state up to approximately 593,000 total tests, more than half a million.
Gov. Tim Walz made that announcement Monday. He heralded the partnership with Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. Additionally, the state has reached the milestone of developing a daily capacity of 20,000 COVID-19 tests. Both the clinic and the university are now able to provide the additional testing capacity to more than 265 health care organizations across the state.
Of the total positive cases, 31,225 patients are no longer requiring isolation, approximately 87 percent recovering from the virus. Hospitalizations fell over the weekend to 278, 140 of those individuals are requiring critical care. Minnesota is now at its lowest level of hospitalization utilization since May 1.
The state has reached 1,435 virus-related deaths, 1,129 of those have resided in long-term care facilities, to date.
The governor announced a plan last Thursday that would allow the plan to distribute $853 million in relief to communities across Minnesota impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state will distribute $841 million counties, cities and towns to support local government coronavirus relief efforts. The remaining $12 million will be allocated toward food shelves and food banks to help combat hunger across Minnesota. The funding was authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
State officials reported that approximately 300,000 Minnesotans have visited food shelves each month since the pandemic began, representing approximately a 30 percent increase over typical visits. Food banks are distributing approximately 2.4 million pounds of food per week, representing a 20-40 percent increase since 2019, according to the state.
The $841 million allocated for local governments can be used to support local government services as well as grants to businesses, hospitals and individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. Local governments will receive a direct payment based on the per capita formula developed by the state legislature during special session from the state’s Department of Revenue.
Before distributing the aid, local governments must certify their intent to follow federal guidelines for the use of funds received.