• Minnesota logged its highest single-day death count with 30 patients Wednesday
  • Most COVID-19 deaths are from long-term care facilities
  • Neighboring states could be undercounting their cases of deaths, says Minnesota Department of Health

The state of Minnesota has reached a new daily record for the most number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day after 30 people lost their battle in the pandemic Wednesday.

Reports from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) showed the total number of deaths is now at 485. Minnesota's previous record of the highest number of single-day deaths was 28, which was logged for May 1 and April 26.

To date, there are now 8,579 confirmed cases in the state with 80% of COVID-19 victims at long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of the 30 new deaths recorded, 24 patients were residents of care facilities.

A majority of Minnesota's number of COVID-19 deaths come from long-term care facilities. Pixabay

MDH officials said other states in the region could be undercounting its number of deaths following comments that more COVID-19 patients are dying in Minnesota. MDH infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said the state's COVID-19 response is more accurate than its neighboring states because they are doing more tests on patients who have higher risks against the coronavirus, such as the elderly.

"I do think that because we are focusing on our most vulnerable populations we aren’t missing as many deaths as could be the case in other parts of the country," Ehresmann said.

Sen. Karin Housley (R-Minn), however, asked the MDH to adopt new measures to ensure the protection of vulnerable patients at long-term care centers. In a letter sent to the Jan Malcolm, the MDH Commissioner, Housley suggested the deployment of the National Guard "to assist with sanitizing and cleaning facilities, transporting patients, food preparation and delivery, laundry, and other duties at facilities experiencing outbreaks."

Housley cited only 30% of the elderly residents at long-term care facilities in Florida were affected by the coronavirus because the state government implemented clear health and safety measures early on with the help of the National Guard.

"If we do not take significant, immediate action to pivot our state’s strategy to a greater emphasis on long-term care settings, it is my belief that we will be confronted with a massive crisis in Minnesota," Housley wrote.

Meanwhile, the state is working on increasing its testing capacity for all people with symptoms as it closes in on 95,000 completed tests. Thus, the number of confirmed cases is expected to still increase.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has extended the stay-at-home orders until May 18 but elective surgeries may soon resume after the governor signs the executive order, he announced Tuesday.