Yesterday there were another 19 COVID-19 deaths reported in long term care facilities in Minnesota. Health Commissioner Jan Malcom says they are still early in the process of implementing the administration’s plans to provide more testing, supplies, and staffing for these facilities.

That takes some time. It is unfortunately not something we can flip a switch and have a plan implemented everywhere in the state immediately. But it is a high priority, not only for MDH but also for our partners at the state emergency operations center.

Malcom says the state is acting in a support role as each facility makes its own plans for things like staffing and best practices around testing and equipment. Of the total deaths in Minnesota, more than 80% have been linked to long term care settings.

Malcom says they remain confident their plan can be effective.

“We feel very good about that its building on what we have learned about this epidemic and some of the best practices that are going on with longterm care facilities in our state and around the nation. We’ve benefited from some conversation with the CDC.”