Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to address long-term care crisis at press conference

More than 80 percent of Minnesota's COVID-19 deaths have come from long-term care settings.
Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Gov. Tim Walz will hold his latest COVID-19 press conference on Thursday afternoon, during which he will address the growing crisis in the state's long-term care facilities.

Of Minnesota's 485 coronavirus deaths (as of 4 p.m. Tuesday), 391 have occurred in long-term care or assisted living facilities, with health officials facing questions this week over why Minnesota's long-term care deaths are higher than that of neighboring states.

At 2 p.m., Gov. Walz will provide an update on the state's response to the pandemic, and will also discuss "the state’s plan to protect Minnesotans living in long-term care facilities from COVID-19."

On Wednesday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm was asked why Minnesota's long-term care deaths are higher proportionally than COVID-19 deaths in states including Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas.

Malcolm responded that it's because Minnesota has prioritized testing in long-term care settings, which means it has been able to diagnose more residents with COVID-19 prior to their deaths.

She argues that long-term care hasn't been as focused on in other states, meaning that these states are likely undercounting the true number of COVID-19 deaths in long-term care as not as many sickened residents have been officially diagnosed.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

In Wisconsin, for example, prioritization for testing is split into 4 tiers. The top tier is for hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers. Testing for long-term care residents and staff is listed in Tier 2.

Minnesota however has prioritized testing for the hospitalized, healthcare workers, AND those who live in congregate living settings such as long-term care, which has been the case from early on in the pandemic when it became apparent there was a nationwide shortage of tests.

On Wednesday, state Sen. Karin Housley called on the Walz Administration to prioritize long-term care settings for both diagnostic and antibody testing, as well as for PPE supplies, as well as calling for furloughed healthcare workers to be temporarily deployed to long-term care settings.

You will be able to watch the 2 p.m. press conference here.

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

Police: Suspect arrested in Willmar after firing gun at officer

The incident led to a manhunt that lasted into early Sunday morning.

Monti Ossenfort

Vikings lead off general manager interviews with Monti Ossenfort

Several candidates will interview for the job this week.

Payton Willis

Gophers' rally comes up short, lose to Iowa

The Gophers came back from a 23-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.

pixabay-fire-truck-side-close

Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation

ambulance

Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Related

long term care elderly

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz announces 'battle plan' to reduce long-term care deaths

More than 80 percent of Minnesota's COVID-19 deaths have been in long-term care facility.

Tim Walz modeling

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz gives his latest coronavirus update

The governor is expected to address Minnesota's long-term care crisis.

Gov. Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz to address Minnesotans about COVID-19 on Friday

The number of COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities have been increasing after outbreaks at the facilities slowed 'significantly' over the summer.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to provide update in Thursday press conference

He is expected to announce an extended, but loosened Stay at Home order.

long term care elderly

Coronavirus: New guidance released for visiting long-term care homes

Visits to congregate care facilities have been strictly limited during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meridian Manor

Wayzata care home closing down after coronavirus outbreak

Long-term care facilities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to provide latest update at Monday press conference

It's possible that a statement on elective surgeries will be forthcoming.