Walz says Minnesota to report record deaths, 8,000 COVID cases

Health officials also reported 7,877 new cases of the virus, a bit under what the

Health officials also reported 7,877 new cases of the virus, a bit under what the governor announced previously.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Thursday, Nov. 19 

  • 72 deaths, 7,877 new cases reported Thursday
  • Walz closes gyms, indoor dining, pauses sports as COVID cases spike
  • 83 of 87 counties now under distance learning recommendations
  • Eleven new COVID-19 testing sites to open across Minnesota; mail order testing program now available statewide

Minnesota continues to push the COVID-19 curve upward, with state health officials reporting a new single-day high in deaths Thursday. 

Numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect 72 more deaths from the virus, up five from the previous high of 67 reported just one day earlier. That brings Minnesota’s total fatalities to 3,082 since the start of the pandemic.

MDH reports 7,877 new cases of coronavirus, second only to the 8,703 cases reported last Saturday. Those new cases are based on the results of 56,820 tests processed in private and state labs. Of those tests, 1,733 are antigen tests where a positive result indicates a probable case. The remainder, 55,087, are PCR tests, which indicate a confirmed case.

Minnesota has now recorded 249,906 total cases. 

Earlier, Gov. Tim Walz reported death and case numbers to the Minnesota Executive Council that were a bit higher than those released by MDH Thursday. Walz told the council that health officials would report 76 deaths, and at least 8,000 cases of COVID-19.

Total hospitalizations are now at 14,171 since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota, with 3,346 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. Currently 1,751 hospital beds across the state are being used by COVID patients, with 367 of those beds located in the ICU. Both of those numbers are single-day records.

Health officials say 198,365 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

Young adults ages 20 to 24 make up the largest portion of Minnesota’s COVID-19 cases with 28,387 and two deaths, followed by 25 to 29-year-olds with 23,552 cases and three deaths. Those 85 to 89 account for the largest grouping of deaths with 563 in 3,116 cases. 

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 54,662 cases and 1,066 deaths, followed by nearby Ramsey County with 23,071 cases and 450 fatalities. Anoka County reports 17,859 cases and 203 coronavirus deaths.

Cook County has the least COVID activity with 50 cases and zero fatalities, followed by Lake of the Woods County with 78 cases and one death. 


Full distance learning is now recommended across nearly the entire state of Minnesota, based on updated data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The latest Safe Learning Plan guidance shows full distance learning recommended in 83 of Minnesota’s 87 counties.

The latest guidance is based on county-level case data per 10,000 people for the two-week period from Oct. 25 through Nov. 7. Many counties reported more than 100 cases per 10,000 people over that time period.

Only Cook, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and Watonwan counties have slightly lower case rates and fall into a lower category, where state guidance recommends hybrid learning for elementary schools and distance learning in secondary schools.

State officials have emphasized that this case data alone does not automatically determine the learning plan for a particular county or school district, but is meant to be used as guidance in each district’s decision-making process.

According to the state’s Safe Learning Plan, the county case data leads to five recommended learning models:

  • 0-9 cases per 10,000: In-person learning for all students
  • 10-19 cases per 10,000: In-person learning for elementary students, hybrid learning for secondary students
  • 20-29 cases per 10,000: Hybrid learning for all students
  • 30-49 cases per 10,000: Hybrid learning for elementary students, distance learning for secondary students
  • 50 or more cases per 10,000: Distance learning for all students

In a meeting of the Minnesota Executive Council Governor Tim Walz warned that state health officials will confirm 76 new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, a new single-day high. 

“We will be reporting record numbers of 8,000 infections, an absolutely staggering and heartbreaking 76 deaths, dozens of hospitalizations and ICU capacity is reaching what we knew,” Walz told the council in audio shared by MPR News.

During the same meeting Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm said hospitalizations related to the coronavirus are up 80% over the last two weeks, beyond the state’s projections. 

When asked about the governor’s numbers an MDH spokesperson would not confirm them, saying the department’s daily statistics would be shared at 11 a.m., as usual. 

Governor Tim Walz announced a four-week dial back plan to help control the spread of COVID-19, as case numbers surge across the state and country, and as many hospitals report nearing capacity. 

Walz is turning back the dial on in-person dining, sports, gyms and other social activities. The restrictions will take effect Friday, Nov. 20 at 11:59 p.m. and last until Friday, Dec. 18.

“Today marks a somber milestone in the pandemic as we surpass 3,000 Minnesotans lost to COVID-19,” Gov. Walz said in the release. “This immense loss strikes at the heart of our state. We are at a breaking point. As hospitals near the crisis of turning away new patients, continuing as things are is simply not sustainable. The actions announced today will help prevent more families from losing a loved one and ensure our hospitals can treat those who fall ill. While these actions mean incredible hardship for many, they are the fastest way to recover our economy, keep our kids in school, and get back to the activities we love.”

Here is the list of things being halted for four weeks time. 

  • All in-person dining — both indoor and outdoor
  • All social gatherings with individuals outside your household
  • Organized sports — youth and adult
  • Gyms/fitness centers — including yoga, martial arts, dance studios
  • Recreation centers/public pools
  • Indoor entertainment venues
  • Weddings receptions/private parties

According to the governor’s announcement, retail businesses, salons and places of worship will remain open with proper precautions in place. Childcare will also remain open and schools will continue to operate under the Safe Learning Plan. 

The Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 7,989 new cases Wednesday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since the pandemic began. Health officials also reported 52 new deaths and 283 additional hospitalizations.

In a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Tony Evers extended the statewide mask mandate to January 2021. The mandate was set to expire Saturday.

State health officials released numbers Wednesday reflecting the single deadliest day since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 67 people died of coronavirus in the past 24-hour reporting period, bringing the state total to 3,010. Of those deaths 2,066, or 69% of them, are tied to long-term care or assisted living settings. Records show the previous single-day high in deaths was 56, recorded on Nov. 11. 

The regrettable record high in deaths comes on the day Gov. Tim Walz is set to announce a new round of restrictions to deal with Minnesota’s skyrocketing COVID case rate. A source says those restrictions will include closing gyms and fitness centers, rolling back on bars and restaurants to allow takeout-only, and pausing high school and youth sports. Those restrictions will reportedly last for at least four weeks. 

New cases are down more than 800 from Tuesday, with MDH reporting an additional 5,102 Minnesotans testing positive for the virus. Those new cases were confirmed by 37,026 tests (33,237 PCR, 3,789 Antigen) processed in private and state labs. 

A positive PCR test is considered a confirmed case by health officials, while a positive Antigen test is considered a probable case. 

The total cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota is now 242,043.

Total hospitalizations since the onset of the pandemic now sit at 13,892, with 3,307 requiring care in the ICU. As of Tuesday Minnesota hospitals were dealing with 1,706 COVID in-patient coronavirus cases, with 355 of those patients in intensive care.

Those ages 20 to 24 continue to make up the state’s largest grouping of COVID cases, with 27,725 and two fatalities, followed by people 25 to 29 with 22,853 cases and three deaths. The demographic from 85 to 89 accounts for the largest number of deaths, with 552 in just 3,046 confirmed cases. 

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 53,486 cases and 1,061 fatalities, followed by Ramsey County with 22,497 cases and 441 deaths. Anoka County reports 17,374 cases and 196 deaths.

Cook County in northeast Minnesota reports the least COVID activity with 48 cases and zero fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. Lake of the Woods County is next with 78 cases and a single death.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what businesses are open as the state slowly lifts restrictions. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11. 

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.


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