ST. PAUL, Minn. — Another 29 Minnesotans have perished from the coronavirus as the illness continues to deal a blow to the region, state health officials reported Wednesday, Oct. 14.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,214 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 more deaths from the illness, bringing the total number of Minnesotans to die from the illness to 2,180. The daily death count is the highest the state has reported since June 5, though some of the reports are believed to be backdated.
The newly reported deaths from COVID-19 included Minnesotans around the state, with reported deaths related to the disease reported in Clay, Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Olmsted, Pipestone, Ramsey, Redwood, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright counties. Those who died ranged in age from in their early 60s to older than 100. And there were no details immediately available for six of those who died.
The state on Wednesday also added to its reporting test results for Minnesotans who underwent antigen for COVID-19, an indicator, if positive, that they'd already had the coronavirus. The department reported that 180 people tested for COVID-19 antigens or were believed to have had COVID-19. In total, 115,763 Minnesotans had tested positive for the illness through antigen and molecular PCR testing.
State health officials said the antigen tests weren't necessarily the "gold standard" in testing but could help paint a fuller picture of the virus' impact in Minnesota. Several other states report the antigen test results along with their other COVID-19 results.
“Federal officials have embraced antigen tests and are aggressively encouraging states and institutions across the country to use them,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release. “We believe it’s a good idea to add this equipment to our toolkit as long as we keep the information in proper context. Our goal is to work with long-term care facilities and others who’ve received these devices to make sure they are used in the most accurate and effective manner, and to learn more about this testing method as we go.”
Six of the probable deaths reported Wednesday were connected to the antigen test results.
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- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
- COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.