Walz extends COVID-19 emergency again as Minnesota adds 3,000-plus cases, 18 deaths Monday
Gov. Tim Walz extended Minnesota's COVID-19 peacetime emergency for the ninth time on Monday.
It was his 100th executive order of the year.
Walz highlighted the state's death count Monday, as it nears 4,500 due to COVID-19.
"As Minnesota receives its first shipment of the vaccine, there is hope on the horizon. But we need to remain vigilant until we put the threat of COVID-19 behind us," Walz said in a statement. "The peacetime emergency gives us the tools to keep Minnesotans healthy and deliver the vaccine in a way that is quick, equitable and safe."
Central Minnesota had something of a reprieve Monday as none of the 18 newly reported COVID-19 deaths took place in Stearns, Benton or Sherburne counties.
Those 18 deaths spanned the state with one in far northwestern Kittsen County and five between the urban Ramsey and Hennepin counties, according to Monday's report from the Minnesota Department of Health.
The total COVID-19 death toll reached 4,350 for Minnesotans with confirmed cases. Another 112 had probable cases of the infection when they died, according to the Health Department.
Minnesota reported 3,026 new COVID-19 cases Monday, including 2,813 confirmed cases determined through PCR tests and 213 probable cases determined through antigen tests.
"With nearly 11,000 new cases reported since Friday and a high death toll over the weekend, clearly we are still in a very precarious state," said Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm on a Monday call with reporters. "We are certainly not out of the woods by any stretch."
The good news is that while cases are still growing, the rate of growth is slowing, she said.
Hospitalizations are declining since a November peak. Since the start of the pandemic, 19,638 people have required hospitalization in the state. As of Monday there were 1,283 people hospitalized in Minnesota with COVID-19, including 319 in intensive care.
"One of the most encouraging signs recently has been that the number of hospital beds in use due to COVID have been on a downward trend over the last week," Malcolm said. "That has been an extremely important and welcome bit of respite for our health care workers and hospitals."
Labs in the state have processed more than 4.9 million COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic.
A total of 381,841 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19, 2.7% of those tested positive for the antigens and the remaining have confirmed cases through PCR tests.
According to MDH, 347,077 coronavirus patients no longer need isolation.
Globally, there are nearly 72.4 million cases of COVID-19, including nearly 16.2 million in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center. More than 1.6 million people have died of the infection worldwide, including more than 299,000 people in the U.S
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