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COVID-19 deaths jump in St. Louis County

The case curve is down, but Gov. Walz said COVID-19 hospitalizations, testing positivity rates and deaths prove the threat of the virus hasn't faded.

FSA Coronavirus local

The number of new coronavirus cases added to St. Louis County's total dipped again on Wednesday, the same day the county had its largest increase in COVID-19 deaths yet.

Nine more St. Louis County residents have died from COVID-19 and its complications. The people ranged between their early 60s and over the age of 100. Since the pandemic's start, the county has lost 168 lives to the illness. More than half of those deaths have been reported by the state in the months of November and December alone.

Meanwhile, 75 more St. Louis County residents have tested positive, dropping the seven-day average of new cases to 112 new cases a day.

While 75 new cases is relatively low compared to the numbers St. Louis County is now used to experiencing, just two months ago that figure would have been considered exceptionally high.

In a news conference Wednesday during which Gov. Tim Walz extended the closure of indoor service at bars and restaurants, Walz said the numbers still aren't where they need to be. He said Minnesota's community spread remains "dangerously high." The state's daily testing positivity rate — the percentage of newly completed tests that come back positive — was 11.6% on Wednesday.


"It should be under five before we can start breathing a sigh of relief," Walz said. "But you brought the curve down, you made the sacrifices necessary, spaces are continuing to open up and that sunshine I told you about is here. The COVID vaccine is here and more are on the way."

SEE ALSO: Walz to keep restaurants, bars closed for indoor service, re-open elementary schools

In Northeastern Minnesota, 109 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 at one point on Tuesday. Of those, 27 were in intensive care. Twelve intensive care beds were available in the region, as were 102 non-ICU beds.

The state of Minnesota's hospital data is updated once every week day with one-point-in-time figures from the day prior.

SEE ALSO: 'I hope I’m enough': Duluth doctors express duty to care for COVID-19 patients

Lake County recorded two more deaths. Both people were in their late 80s. The county has now lost 13 lives to the illness.

Koochiching County logged its eighth death on Wednesday. That person was in their late 60s.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported two more deaths in Douglas County, bringing its death toll from COVID-19 to 16.


New cases and seven-day averages in other counties:

  • Aitkin — 4; 11.
  • Carlton — 19; 25.
  • Cook — 2; 1.
  • Itasca — 12; 27.
  • Koochiching — 1; 5.
  • Lake — 3; 4.
  • Ashland — 13; 13.
  • Bayfield — 4; 11.
  • Douglas — 14; 35.

Minnesota reported 2,279 new infections on Wednesday and 91 more lives lost. Wisconsin reported 2,402 more cases and 74 deaths.

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