Updated: March 23, 2020 03:02 PM
Created: March 23, 2020 10:20 AM
Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported there are 66 new cases that have tested positive for COVID-19, creating a total of 235 cases.
The department did not indicate how many people have been tested in the state so far, as of Monday morning.
Counties with at least one positive test include: Anoka, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clay, Dakota, Dodge, Fillmore, Hennepin, Jackson, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington and Wright. Monday's confirmed cases were the first in Big Stone, Lac Qui Parle and Sherburne counties.
In an afternoon call, state officials said 21 patients have been hospitalized in Minnesota but 12 remained in hospitals as of Monday afternoon. Of those, five patients were in intensive care.
Gov. Tim Walz also signed four more executive orders to suspend evictions, support small businesses, address hospital equipment shortages and clarify an earlier order on elective surgeries.
The public COVID-19 hotline remains open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can be reached at 651-201-3920.
Walz said he's taking a "hard look" at a shelter-in-place order, which a few states have already done. However, as of Monday, Walz said he wasn't ready to go to those lengths.
The governor added that it's likely closings for schools and businesses, such as bars and restaurants that have already been ordered to close, will be extended past March 27th. As with shelter-in-place, Walz said he's not yet considering closing schools for the rest of the year but as the situation evolves that may become necessary.
Monday, Walz said he will self-quarantine for 14 days after learning he came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Additionally, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar issued a statement Monday saying her husband, John, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized with pneumonia.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said late Sunday night that her brother died from COVID-19 in Tennessee.
According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the virus has infected about 353,692 people worldwide and killed about 15,430.
More than 100,443 people have recovered so far.
The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems.
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