With state health officials reporting 31 more COVID-19 deaths Sunday, Minnesota closes out its deadliest week of the pandemic for the second week in a row.
The Minnesota Department of Health on Sunday reported 7,559 new COVID-19 cases. The rolling seven-day average is now at about 6,000 cases per day across the state.
Olmsted County saw a jump in new cases as the state health department announced 497 new cases, which is by far the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. With 205 confirmed cases announced Saturday, the two-day total exceeded the total number of new cases over the previous week, which was a then-record 567 cases.
Graham Briggs, Olmsted County Public Health director, said Thursday the recent surge in testing demand could delay test results and that recent numbers at the end of the week might not be the final totals, as test results were still being processed.
"We may be seeing some delays, and we might not have the actual numbers right away," he said Thursday.
Goodhue County reported 192 cases, with Mower reporting 179, Dodge 97 and Wabasha 81. This jump comes as new high case counts are being seen across the state two weeks after a campaign visit to Rochester by President Donald Trump and Halloween.
The state’s rolling seven-day averages for new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all at new highs.
The seven-day average death toll from the virus in Minnesota is now more than 35 deaths per day, with 249 people dying of the virus over the past week.
The deaths reported Sunday included 18 residents of long-term care facilities. Four deaths were reported in Benton County, three in Stearns County. Two residents died in both Rice County and Douglas County. Nine residents in the Twin Cities metro area died of the virus.
Aitkin, Chippewa, Hubbard, Lyon, Mille Lacs, Otter Trail, Pennington, Pine, Sherburne, St. Louis and Swift counties each reported one death.
The new cases came at a high volume of testing, with more than 65,000 tests conducted. However, the positivity rate for the tests has tripled since the summer. The average positivity rate is at 14.8% over the past week.
Hospitalizations also continue to climb with the jump in new diagnosed cases. As of Friday, about 1,400 people were hospitalized across the state due to COVID-19, with nearly 300 needing intensive care treatment, according to health department data.
Minnesota neighbors South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa still occupy the top three spots for most new cases per 100,000 residents. Wisconsin is fifth behind Wyoming. Minnesota, with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people, has climbed to seventh among U.S. states.