Minnesota Governor Tim Walz joined other state officials and mental health leaders Friday to discuss resources available to the public as COVID-19 cases continue to take a mental and physical toll. The state’s Department of Health reported 6,812 new COVID-19 cases and 68 deaths Friday – the second-highest single-day record.

The officials encouraged people who are in crisis or who know someone in crisis to text MN to a help line, 741741. They also directed people to a state website that lists available resources.

“Getting the help that you need … it’s not shameful,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said. “It’s not embarrassing. It’s human, and it is necessary. We have never experienced anything like this in our lifetimes.”

Walz announced a new round of restrictions earlier this week that go into effect a minute before midnight on Friday. The restrictions require all bars and restaurants to go to take-out only, and they close entertainment venues and put youth sports on pause.

Over the past few days, Walz has asked Minnesotans to comply with the new restrictions to help alleviate the immense strain on the state’s health care workers. Various hospitals systems around the state are hundreds of staff members short due to coronavirus cases, exposures and quarantines. Rice Hospital in Willmar has said that for 10 out of 11 days, they have had periods where they could not admit patients, CBS Minnesota reports.

“We need to do this,” Walz said Friday, defending the restrictions. “Our hospitals’ll be overrun. It doesn’t mean that it’s not without pain and that there aren’t people being hurt really badly in this.”

RECOMMENDED POST:   COVID-19 reached community spread, 'impossible to wipe-off' with just lockdown says Delhi Health Minister

There are 1,751 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in hospitals around Minnesota, of which 367 are in the ICU. Those in intensive care with COVID-19 are taking up roughly 30% of the beds. Hospitalizations have never been higher during the pandemic.

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate was 15.4% as of November 10, due to data lag. A rate of over 10% puts Minnesota in the “high risk” category.

“With this degree of case growth and this degree of community spread, the odds that in any group you’re in that there might be someone infected without knowing it is unfortunately quite high,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Friday.

The state has been increasing the amount of tests administered on a daily basis. In total, over 2.2 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state.

Since March, a total of 3,150 people have died. Though the vast majority of those cases have occurred in long-term care facilities, young people are also impacted by the virus.

Leave a Reply