The majority of COVID-19 deaths in the state have occurred in congregate care facilities. Kris Ehresman is the infectious disease division director for the Minnesota Department of Public Health.

“113 of the 160 deaths have been associated with long-term care,” said Ehresman.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcom was asked if most of the deaths are occurring in long-term care facilities, why not quarantine those individuals and open up the rest of the state?

“It’s important to track the full picture of all cases,” said Malcom. “Long-term care residents make up a smaller percentage of those hospitalized. It’s also important to point there’s a good number of individuals who have been hospitalized and are in intensive care that were not associated with long-term care facilities.”

Malcom says the key is the ability of the health care system to handle the patient load and so far that has been the case.