31-year-old St. Paul school board chairwoman remains in ICU with COVID-19

Friday marked 17 days in critical care, according to an update from her sister.
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Marny Xiong

The 31-year-old chairwoman of the St. Paul school board has been in intensive care with COVID-19 for three weeks. 

An update from family on Friday said Marny Xiong "remains in critical condition at the University of MN Fairview Hospital." Her sister, Amee Xiong, wrote that Friday marked "17 days with her being in critical care," meaning Tuesday would mark three weeks in the ICU. 

In a post to Facebook earlier this month, Amee Xiong wrote that Marny and their father were both "relying heavily on the ventilator to get oxygen to their lungs," though some good news came in her Friday update as she announced that their father had his ventilator removed and is "recovering and doing better." 

She said her father experienced fever and chills for a week followed by shortness of breath, suspecting that he may have been sickened through work, while Marny was working from home when she fell ill.

Dr. Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools, issued a statement after learning of Xiong's condition in early May. 

"The SPPS community offers our support and positive thoughts for Marny Xiong and her family. We know her as a friend and fighter; a fighter for student equity, student opportunity and student achievement. Her spirit of not giving up has never been more important. We are grateful for the medical care she is receiving and we look forward to her return to health in the near future."

Xiong's lengthy stay in the ICU matches the stark tone delivered in a mid-April speech from Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association who works as an ICU nurse at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. On April 17, Turner was a guest speaker during a Gov. Tim Walz press conference in which she described the harrowing experience on the ICU floor.

"I mean I worked 3-4 weeks ago and I came back this last weekend and the same people were there. That's how long they're staying on the ventilator. They're blocking up the ICUs for such a long period of time, so it's going to start snowballing faster and faster," said Turner. 

According to the latest report from the Minnesota Department of Health, 881 Minnesotans have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus). 

Through 4 p.m. Sunday, which is the most up-to-date reporting period, there were 248 COVID-19 patients in intensive care and 357 more COVID-19 patients receiving regular hospital care. 

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