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COVID-19 confirmed in 25 Minnesota long-term care facilities

Residents of long-term care facilities are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

The number of long-term care facilities impacted by confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 25, up from the 20 facilities that had confirmed cases on Saturday. 

The increase in affected facilities was provided Sunday afternoon by Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, who said the 25 facilities have a combined total of 32 patients who have tested positive for the virus: 21 residents and 11 healthcare workers. 

Nine people have died in Minnesota from COVID-19, a rise of four from Saturday's reported total of five deaths. At least three of the new deaths reported Sunday were people linked to long-term care facilities in Hennepin County. Two of those deaths were from one unidentified facility. More numbers related: 

  • 18 facilities have just 1 confirmed case
  • 4 facilities have 2 cases
  • 3 facilities have more than 2 cases
  • No facility has more than 4 cases. 

In total, seven of the nine deaths in Minnesota have been related to congregate care settings, which are identified as nursing homes, assisting living centers or other long-term care residences. 

These totals represent totals from the MN Dept. of Health, as of Sunday, March 29. 

These totals represent totals from the MN Dept. of Health, as of Sunday, March 29. 

Precise details of where the 25 facilities are located have not been provided, but Malcolm said the majority of them are in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. 

As soon as a resident or worker at a long-term care residence tests positive for COVID-19, the state health department classifies that specific residence as an outbreak or potential outbreak, prompting a vigilant response and frequent communication between the facility and a nurse case manager who provides advices and structure for protection response procedures. 

That includes expanded testing for residents and employees at the facility. 

Infected residents/workers and their close contacts are isolated immediately while other people in the building limit movement to maintain social distancing. Visitors at long-term care facilities are already restricted to keep the more vulnerable residents safe. 

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has also further tightened guidance for long-term care facilities. 

  • Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations
  • Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel (HCP), including non-essential healthcare personnel (e.g., barbers)
  • Cancel all group activities and communal dining
  • Implement active screening of residents and HCP for fever and respiratory symptoms

Additionally, the CDC guidance says healthcare recommends staff and residents undergo "active screening" for fever and respiratory symptoms. 

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