First COVID-19 Death Reported In Minnesota, Total of 138 Cases In the State
Victim contracted the virus through contact with another COVID-19 case
(FOX 9) – Minnesota has reported its first COVID-19 death, officials announced Saturday. The state now has 138 cases.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the death occurred March 19 in a Ramsey County resident in their 80s who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was the contact of an earlier confirmed case.
“Gwen and I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss,” Governor Tim Walz said in a release. “As COVID-19 continues to spread in Minnesota, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe.”
“My heart is with the family, friends, and neighbors who are grieving,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan added. “This loss is deeply felt by our entire community. Now more than ever, each of us must do our part to prevent the spread of this virus, especially to our most vulnerable Minnesotans.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said the death underscores the importance of protecting our most vulnerable Minnesotans during the outbreak.
“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the patient,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “We’ve all seen reports of outbreak-related deaths in other states and countries, but this Minnesota death reminds us how important it is to continue working to protect each other during this outbreak.”
Commissioner Malcolm emphasized the importance of all Minnesotans doing their part to slow the spread of the virus and protect those in our communities who might be at higher risk of severe illness or death. The most vulnerable include those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions.
There are now more than 20 counties with confirmed cases: Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Chisago, Clay, Dakota, Dodge, Filmore, Hennepin, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Rice, Scott, Stearns, St. Louis, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, and Wright.
Hennepin County, the state’s largest county, now has 52 reported cases of coronavirus. No other county has more than 16 reported cases.
“This should not be construed to mean that counties that do not have cases are safe,” Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said.
Several of Minnesota’s cases are the result of community transmission. Community transmission cases occur when the individual who tested positive did not travel or have any known contact with someone with COVID-19.