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Coronavirus April 12: Developments across our region

“We can never forget that these numbers are in fact beloved family members, friends and neighbors who are mourned,” state health commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “We express our condolences and our commitment to continuing the work of protecting Minnesotans the best we can. It is very important for all Minnesotans to do their part in that effort by following social distancing guidelines and other public health recommendations.”

North Dakota now has 293 positive COVID-19 cases, the state department of health announced Saturday.

Cass County, the state’s most populous county, had seven more positive cases, pushing its total to 95. Yesterday’s reported death — the state’s seventh — was a Cass County woman in her 70s with underlying health issues. She contracted the virus through community spread.

Souith Dakota officials are asking the owners of a coronavirus-stricken meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls to close for 14 days, as the outbreak in the facility has spread to at least 238 workers.

Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken co-authored a letter to plant owner Smithfield Foods to make the request, they said in hastily called media briefings Saturday.

The plant, currently shuttered for cleaning and safety retooling until Tuesday, is now linked to more than a third of South Dakota’s 626 known coronavirus cases, according to information released hours before by the state Department of Health.

The state Department of Health Services announced Saturday there are 3,213 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

According to figures from DHS, 137 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon, an increase of nine from Friday.

Becker County in northwest Minnesota reported a case for the first time

91 new cases were reported Saturday in Minnesota, including 49 in Hennepin County alone, bringing the statewide laboratory-confirmed case total to 1427.

ICU use in Minnesota inched up by 5 patients to 69 statewide, while hospitalizations for coronavirus dropped from 145 to 143.

While coronavirus cases in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, area continue to skyrocket, the situation in the rest of the state appears relatively stable. Twelve individuals diagnosed with the illness have recovered, state officials said Saturday, bringing the recovery total to 189.

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