The number of reported deaths in Minnesota related to COVID-19 jumped to nine on Sunday, March 29, climbing by four.

Three of those people who died were residents at care facilities in Hennepin County, said Jan Malcolm, deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Two of those deaths were patients from the same care facility. One of those fatalities, a 50-year-old man with underlying health conditions, is the youngest fatal case of COVID-19 so far in Minnesota. The two other patients who died were in their 80s and 90s, Malcolm added. The fourth reported death occurred in Martin County, Malcolm said in a conference call update Sunday. No further information on that patient was available at the time.

Of the nine deaths so far in Minnesota, seven have been residents of long-term care facilities.

As of Sunday, 25 long-term care facilities reported a total of 32 cases of COVID-19 — with 21 cases in facility residents and 11 cases among facility staff.

Malcolm said care facilities isolate patients and staff if they have symptoms and that care facility staff are prioritized for testing.

“Care facilities and their workers are being very diligent,” Malcolm said. “We believe folks in long-term care facilities are making their facilities as safe as possible.”

MDH reported 503 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota in a Sunday morning update. That includes 16 people currently being treated in intensive care, 39 cases of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization and 252 people who no longer need to be isolated.

The 62 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 announced Sunday is the biggest single-day jump in confirmed new cases since March 23, when MDH reported 66 new confirmed cases.

Cases have now been confirmed in 45 Minnesota counties. Cottonwood, Douglas, Isanti and Otter Tail reported their first cases Sunday.

North Dakota

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum asked President Donald Trump on Sunday, March 29, to declare a major disaster for the state in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.

If granted by Trump, the declaration would clear the path for North Dakota to receive federal aid based on need in the state's 53 counties and four largest American Indian reservations. Trump has already declared major disasters in more than 20 states, including California and New York.

The North Dakota Department of Health has confirmed 98 known cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday morning. Burgum said Saturday the actual number of cases could be near 1,000 since testing for the virus only provides stale information about the rate of infection.



South Dakota

Expanded coronavirus testing in South Dakota is paying off, revealing the previously undetected spread of the virus in many of the state's counties, nearly half of which have a confirmed case.

South Dakota reported 22 new cases on Sunday, March 29, bringing the state's total to 90, its single biggest daily jump in confirmed cases thus far. The state has nearly doubled its known number of cases since Thursday.

Two health system labs in Sioux Falls — Sanford Health and Avera Health — started processing coronavirus tests last week, greatly expanding the state's capacity, previously restricted to the state public health lab in Pierre, which has a much more limited ability to test for the virus.

Testing has now found cases of the coronavirus in residents of 28 of the state's 66 counties, double the number of counties with a known case since Wednesday. On Sunday alone, testing revealed confirmed cases in five new counties: Clark, Clay, Fall River, Roberts and Turner, according to the state Department of Health's coronavirus information page.

Wisconsin

Douglas County reported a sixth person has tested positive for COVID-19, the repository illness caused by the new coronavirus, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Details of the new case were not immediately available, but it came two days after the county announced cases rose to five while it was monitoring another three "presumed" positive cases in the county — symptomatic family members of people who already tested positive. Because supplies are limited, not everyone is being tested.

Bayfield County has two cases as of Sunday, March 29. Iron County recorded its first, and so far only case, as someone who died from the disease Thursday. The state has 1,112 cases in total as of Sunday, up from 989 on Saturday.

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