Another day, another set of grim records broken in Minnesota’s COVID-19 pandemic.

The Health Department Wednesday reported 3,844 newly confirmed or probable cases of the disease — a new one-day high, breaking the prior record set Tuesday following a succession of new highs in the past week.

The seven-day average now is over 3,000 newly reported cases per day, twice what it was two weeks ago. Wednesday’s data showed another record of active confirmed cases, more than 20,000.

More than 900 people are in Minnesota hospital beds now due to COVID-19, with 203 needing intensive care, both near record highs; 31 more people died.

St. Louis county recorded 167 new infections and one death, a person in their late 50s.

The newest numbers continue to show rampant spread across Minnesota, not limited to just one region or demographic group. like earlier in the pandemic. It’s being driven now by Minnesotans’ informal gatherings and get-togethers with family and friends, officials say.

Of the 160,923 cases of the disease confirmed in the pandemic to date, about 85 percent have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.

The deaths reported Wednesday raised Minnesota’s toll to 2,530. Among those who’ve died, about 70 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems.

‘Minnesota is in a bad spot’

Minnesota’s COVID-19 numbers continue to paint a troubling picture of a rapidly worsening pandemic.

Caseloads have skyrocketed over the past few weeks, bringing a surge of hospitalizations and deaths.

State authorities had worried that late summer and early fall gatherings, sporting events and informal get-togethers would drive an October surge as Minnesotans let down their guard against the virus. That happened, and it’s now spilling into November.

“Minnesota is in a bad spot … and it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, told reporters Monday as she implored Minnesotans to wear masks in public gathering spaces, socially distance and take other measures to stem the spread.

The state’s positive test rate trend is running at 12.3 percent over the past week, nearly three times higher than a month ago.

While more testing is uncovering more cases, “it’s not the testing that’s the problem,” Ehresmann said. “It’s the sheer fact that we have so much virus circulating in our state.”

This story originally appeared at: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/11/04/latest-on-covid19-in-mn of story Questions or requests? Contact MPR News editor Meg Martin at newspartners@mpr.org © 2020 Minnesota Public Radio. All rights reserved.

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