Minnesota's confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 169

This number does not reflect the actual number of cases in Minnesota, as testing is limited.
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UPDATE 2 P.M.

Here are the latest updates from the Minnesota Department of Health coronavirus briefing on Sunday.

– 17 patients hospitalized since start of outbreak: 10 currently hospitalized, 5 of whom are in intensive care, 7 released.

– The median age of COVID-19 patients is 44 years old. Earlier this week it was 50, meaning more younger people are contracting the virus.

– Mayo Clinic has helped eliminate the backlog of samples requiring testing.

– More household clusters, and increase in community transmission.

– Desperate need for blood donations, amid a shortage of blood and plasma.

– The 32 cases confirmed on Saturday were from Hennepin, Ramsey, Clay, Dakota, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Cass, Steele and Washington Counties.

– Cass County says its case is "an older resident with no known travel history," who developed symptoms Mar. 9 and sought treatment on Mar. 16.

11 A.M.

There are now 169 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Minnesota, a jump of 32 on the 137 reported on Saturday.

The updated figure from the Minnesota Department of Health represents the number of confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. Saturday. It's the largest single day increase in confirmed cases so far.

There has been a single death confirmed so far, with a Ramsey County resident in their 80s dying from the virus on Thursday.

The health department's public health lab tested 590 samples on Saturday for a total of 4,680, though this doesn't include negative test results from independent locations like the Mayo Clinic. 

That said, health officials have been saying for days now that the total number of cases is significantly higher than the confirmed number because of limited testing and because community transmission has been found in the state.

On Saturday, MDH director of infectious diseases Kris Ehresmann said that projections that the total number of cases could be 11 times higher than confirmed is a "conservative estimate," and it could potentially be 100 times higher.

MDH is currently working on modeling to provide estimates of how widespread COVID-19 is in Minnesota.

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Those with symptoms who don't require hospitalization and aren't healthcare workers/long-term care residents are being told to isolate themselves and manage their symptoms at home.

You can find guidance on what to do in the event you have any kind of respiratory symptoms here.

Here's how the numbers have risen in the past week:

  • Sunday - 35 total
  • Monday - 54 total
  • Tuesday - 60 total
  • Wednesday - 77 total
  • Thursday - 89 total
  • Friday - 115 total
  • Saturday - 137 total
  • Sunday - 169 total

You can see an interactive map of estimated totals for every Minnesota county right here

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