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The grim milestone was overshadowed as rioters continued causing destruction in the Twin Cities region following the death of George Floyd while in police custody earlier in the week.
The state’s new high for coronavirus deaths came nearly two weeks after the end of the state’s stay-at-home order, FOX 9 of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Minnesota has now lost a total of 967 residents to the virus since the pandemic began.
Twenty-seven of the victims had been residents of long-term care facilities. Two others were people in their 30s and 40s who had no reported underlying conditions.
The state’s 51-day stay-at-home order expired May 18 but restrictions on large gatherings, church services and dine-in restaurants have continued.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm provides an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, during a news conference in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (Associated Press)
The total number of cases in Minnesota rose by 483 from Wednesday for a total of 22,947 cases, according to FOX 9.
Minnesota’s official coronavirus numbers include only those who test positive for the virus, but officials believe it will go up significantly as the state increases its capacity for testing.
So far, a little more than 225,000 have been tested in the state, the Minnesota Post reported.
State health officials warned this week that protests over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes Monday, could cause a spike in coronavirus cases.
“People are moved to want to speak and to want to gather in solidarity and in protest, and we certainly honor and respect that right,” state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said, according to the Star Tribune. “As we know, large gatherings do pose a risk in any epidemic, but certainly where we stand today with the state of COVID-19 spread in our community. Knowing that we have community spread, we just want to again encourage folks who gather to be mindful of the risk.”
Minnesota is one of 20 states on the COVID Exit Strategy website listed as “trending poorly.” Others include Wisconsin, South Carolina, Ohio, California and Alabama.