MDH: 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, first 3 cases involving community spread

At a press conference Sunday morning announcing all K-12 public schools will close from March 18 through March 27, Gov. Tim Walz said the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota jumped by 14 since Saturday.

During the press conference, Walz said the state was up to 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday morning, which MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm also confirmed. On Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced a total of 21 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, which was up from 14 the day before.

In a call Sunday afternoon, MDH confirmed the state’s first three cases of community spread illness, meaning it spread from person-to-person in the state rather than from exposure during travel as the previous cases had.

Malcolm added that very few of the 35 confirmed cases in Minnesota are severe enough to need hospitalization, but one patient remains in the hospital in critical condition and another hospitalized patient was discharged and is home.

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MDH said Sunday that an approximate total of 1,422 patients had been tested for COVID-19. That doesn’t factor in tests done by private labs, including Mayo Clinic, who told KSTP it had tested about 500 cases as of Sunday. The labs will only report positive tests to MDH, not the total amount of tests, the department said.

Among the new confirmed cases are patients from Waseca and Washington counties. Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Stearns and Wright counties already had confirmed cases. Of the 14 new cases confirmed Sunday, Dakota, Olmsted, Waseca and Washington counties each had one patient while four were in Ramsey County and six in Hennepin County.

As for the ages of those new cases, MDH said six in were in their 20s, two were in their 30s, two in their 40s, three in their 50s and one in their 90s. One of the new patients is hospitalized, bringing the state’s total to two hospitalized patients.

Walz orders all Minnesota schools to close beginning Wednesday