St. Louis County was part of a decidedly grim day in coronavirus deaths reported across the state Wednesday.
Minnesota Department of Health officials registered a record 35 deaths from COVID-19 with two in St. Louis County. Statewide deaths from the virus now stand at 2,281 and cumulative cases at 126,591 after reporting 1,082 new cases.
The 35 statewide deaths matched a single-day record first in May.
The two St. Louis County residents account for one person in the 60s and one in their 90s. The death toll in the state’s largest geographic county now stands at 65. An additional batch of 47 newly-confirmed coronavirus cases brings the region’s total 2,695.
Hospital admissions continue to climb. Minnesota’s seven-day trend of newly reported hospital admissions set a record high, averaging 80 a day over the last week.
More than 16,000 tests were recorded Wednesday but Minnesota’s positivity rate, a key factor watched closely by health officials, rose to 6.5 percent. Generally, a rate above 5 percent is considered a concern for health officials. The rate was below 5 percent two weeks ago, but Minnesota has recorded 1,000 cases or more for more than a week
Among those who’ve died, about 70 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems. That includes 25 of the 35 deaths reported Wednesday.
COVID-19 hotspots continue to surround Minnesota. According to NPR, North Dakota leads the nation in case growth, up 83 percent in the last weeks, followed by South Dakota (78 percent), Montana (71 percent) and Wisconsin (40 percent). Minnesota and Iowa are also marked by NPR as states with “unchecked community spread.”