Updated: May 26, 2020 03:43 PM
Created: May 26, 2020 03:11 PM
State health officials addressed the latest updates on COVID-19 in Minnesota on Tuesday.
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm discussed the latest numbers, saying the case doubling rate is at 16 days. The minimum health officials would like is about seven, so the state is doing well in that regard.
Earlier Tuesday, MDH reported 652 new positive cases, pushing the state's total to 21,960 cases. MDH also reported 18 additional deaths, moving the state's total to 899. Malcolm said the median age of cases is 42, with the older population and those with underlying health conditions remaining at an elevated risk for COVID-19, but added that it's important to note many younger people are also affected by the virus.
Malcolm spoke about long-term care facility staffing, saying it's been a conundrum and has been an issue for a long time. State health centers have received some support through FEMA; they're also working to see what other surge staffing can be provided from other places.
"We have to figure out a way to use all of the tools in the toolbox," Malcolm said. She added that the availability of people is critical.
Testing in the state is continuing to increase, with about 20,300 done over the past three days. She noted that the National Guard helped with those numbers, as several testing sites were available across the state this past weekend. In all, the National Guard supplied about 10,000 tests, which ended up being about 150% of what they originally thought they would be able to provide.
Regarding health plans continuing to waive co-pays, Malcolm said nearly all have agreed to do so through the end of September.
Some other important takeaways from Tuesday's call:
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