First Minnesota COVID-19 death confirmed, positive cases on the rise

(St. Paul, MN) – Minnesota has suffered its first death due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Saturday.

A Ramsey County resident in their 80’s passed away on Thursday, according to a release.  The deceased had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was the contact of an earlier confirmed case.

Meanwhile, MDH reported on Saturday that the number of  of confirmed cases in the state had risen to 138, compared to 115 cases on Friday.  More than 4,000 people have been tested so far, according to MDH.

Three cases of the virus have been confirmed in Blue Earth County, and two in Nicollet County.  MDH reports five confirmed cases in Martin County, where there has been evidence of community spread.

MDH also reports cases in the following counties: Waseca, Steele, Dodge, Mower, Renville, Rice, Filmore, Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Clay, Dakota, Hennepin, Jackson, Olmsted, Ramsey, Stearns, St. Louis, Wabasha, Washington, and Wright.

Gov Tim Walz and his Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan offered condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said the death emphasizes the importance of all Minnesotas doing their part to slow the spread of the virus and protect those at a higher risk.  Anyone over 65 or those with underlying health conditions is more vulnerable to the virus.