ST. PAUL -- Governor Tim Walz has announced a “Five-Point Battle Plan” to help protect Minnesota’s most-vulnerable during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the numbers released Thursday the Minnesota Department of Health reported the state’s death toll hit 508 with 407 of them being residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the plan to reduce infections and deaths among patients and workers in the facilities builds on the work the state has been doing for the last couple of months.

...to expand testing for residents and workers in long-term care facilities, providing testing support and troubleshooting to make sure that the tests happen faster, to get personal protective equipment to the facilities when they need it, to ensure adequate staffing levels for even those in crisis, and to leverage our partnerships to better apply their skills and talents so this isn't just MDH. This is truly a statewide plan and a statewide response.

The MDH says that while the residents of the 330 congregate care, long-term care, group home, assisted living, and mental health facilities make up less than one percent of the state’s population, they account for 15 percent of confirmed cases, 23 percent of hospitalizations, and 80 percent of deaths.

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