MDH reports 2 new COVID-related deaths, 750 new cases; reporting error adds another 138 deaths

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Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 140 new deaths from COVID-19 and 1,641 newly reported positive COVID-19 tests due to a reporting error.

MDH said an audit by MDH epidemiologists of unverified possible COVID-19 case reports identified 891 cases and 138 deaths that were previously unreported to MDH by private labs in violation of a state rule. The cases and deaths occurred over the course of the past year, and cases will be attributed to the appropriate date in the "Positive cases by date specimen collected data table." However, deaths will appear as a one-day spike because deaths are represented by the date reported.

Two new daily deaths and 750 cases were reported Tuesday in addition to the error.

Tuesday afternoon, MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the error involved four labs and the investigation is still ongoing. While the error isn’t believed to have been intentional, Ehresmann said the labs could face up to a $10,000 fine.

"Important to know, no one’s care was affected by this failure of the labs to report and the proper public health action was taken right away," said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Meanwhile, there have been a total of 1.67 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Minnesota, with 880,261 receiving the Pfizer vaccine, 779,151 receiving the Moderna vaccine and 16,254 receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to MDH. Another 10 vaccinations are considered "unknown/missing" in the data.

So far, 602,623 people have completed the vaccine series, according to MDH data.

Of the 1,641 newly reported cases, 519 of them are noted as probable cases, according to MDH. A total of 25,096 probable cases have been reported since antigen testing began in September.

So far, 6,696 people have died from the coronavirus in Minnesota. Of those deaths, 368 are listed as probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,220 long-term care facility deaths have been reported.

To date, 26,079 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in Minnesota and 5,380 patients have been in the ICU.

According to MDH, the new positive COVID-19 cases in Minnesota reported on Tuesday moved the state’s total to 492,108 since pandemic record-keeping began. A total of 478,422 patients have recovered or are recovering and no longer need isolation.

As of Tuesday, approximately 7.6 million COVID-19 tests have been completed in Minnesota.

KSTP’s latest COVID-19 coverage

See the full Minnesota COVID-19 situation update here.

According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the virus has infected more than 117.2 million people worldwide and killed over 2.60 million people.

Over 66.4 million people worldwide have recovered as of Tuesday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients with confirmed COVID-19 have mild to severe respiratory problems, with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some patients report a loss of smell and/or taste and having muscle aches, headache, sore throat, and/or chills and shaking.

Note: According to MDH – "Because all data are preliminary, the change in number of cumulative positive cases and deaths from one day to the next may not equal the newly reported cases or deaths."

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