Minnesota, Stearns County COVID-19 Cases Hit Record Highs

Minnesota, Stearns County COVID-19 Cases Hit Record Highs Click to Enlarge Photo: Unsplash

Update, 4:35 p.m. Friday:

(KNSI) - Speaking with the press Friday afternoon, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said that the state's record-high confirmed COVID-19 cases and testing volume are not the result of one hotspot or outbreak.

"Instead, it is the result of just steady, inexorable spread in communities across the state between people who don't know they have contracted the virus," Malcolm said.

While Malcolm said she is saddened to see such high numbers of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, it is not surprising.

"For a number of weeks, we have continued to see our case numbers climb," Malcolm said. "In 12 of the past 16 days, we've seen our daily new case counts over 1,000."

Malcolm, along with infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann and Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis, urged the public to take personal action such as wearing face masks, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing and washing hands as the pandemic continues.

"Masks are not political — they're essential," DeCubellis said.

Original story, 11:40 a.m. Friday:

(KNSI) - Minnesota is reporting a record-high number of new COVID-19 cases along with a record number of COVID-19 tests processed the day prior.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirms 2,297 new cases of COVID-19 statewide with 13 newly reported deaths. That includes 200 new cases in Stearns County, breaking the county's single-day case count record of 190 new cases on May 7th. There are 453 active cases in Stearns County.

MDH's data shows Benton County 35 new cases for Benton County, however the county dashboard shows 38 new cases. Before Friday, Benton's highest single-day case count occurred on August 27th with 16 cases. There are 108 active COVID-19 cases in Benton County.

Sherburne County's COVID-19 data shows 47 new cases Friday; the MDH reports 40 for the county. Sherburne's highest case day came on July 27 with 64 newly confirmed cases.

The state's record-breaking case numbers comes on a Thursday testing volume that more than doubles the usual test volume over recent days. Over 43,000 COVID-19 tests were processed Thursday, a new high for the state, and 5.27 percent of those tests came back positive.

MDH facilitated free, no-barrier COVID-19 testing this week in multiple cities, including St. Cloud, which might contribute to Thursday's elevated testing volume.