ROCHESTER, Minn. — The state of Minnesota recorded another 13 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, Oct. 23. It was the third straight day of deaths in double digits, and raised the COVID-19 death toll for the week to 80.

The area of highest spread of the illness continued its shift in the state from metro to outstate areas on Friday, with seven or more than half of the day's 13 deaths striking down residentsin Greater Minnesota, a portion of the state that only makes up 45% of the population.

The state reported one death each in Dakota, Hennepin, Mahnomen, Mille Lacs, Otter Tail, Pipestone, Rock, Steele and Wadena counties; and two deaths each in Ramsey and Washington counties. Just two of the deaths reported Friday were among residents of long-term care.

Cumulatively, outstate regions are home to 45% percent of the population and 40% of the state's nearly 130,000 cases overall, a reflection of the illness's earliest origins in the metro area.

At 1,721 cases, however, Greater Minnesota was over-represented in Friday's new case count. Counties outside of the Twin Cities metro reported 1,022, or 60% of Friday's 1,721 cases.

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Among outstate regions with soaring new case numbers, the day saw 31 new cases in Crow Wing County, 32 cases each in Wright and Morrison counties, 39 in Polk County, 50 in St. Louis County, 59 in Clay County, and 106 in Stearns County.

Of the 33 school buildings with COVID-19 outbreaks as defined by five or more cases among students or staff in the last 28 days, 27 or over 80% of the schools are in Greater Minnesota. Of the 370 care homes with more than 10 residents and recent outbreaks as defined by a case among a resident staff in the last 28 days, 220 or 60% of those congregate living centers are in Greater Minnesota.

North Dakota is most lethal place in the world for COVID-19 this week

In other news Friday, with 11.8 deaths per million capita for the week ending Oct. 19, North Dakota reached the highest death rate in the world for the illness, according to a Federation of American Scientists analysis released on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The neighboring state was running away with the title, moreover. The next closest U.S. states were Arkansas and Missouri, with 6.1 deaths per million residents, and South Dakota with 5.7. In between were countries including Andorra, Argentina, Moldova, Montenegro and Chechia. Minnesota came in 44th, just after the nation of Panama, with 2.4 deaths per million residents.

Residents of both North Dakota and Minnesota will share access to an MDH no-barriers saliva testing site in Moorhead, according to Minnesota commissioner of health Jan Malcolm, during a media call on Friday. Malcolm said the reciprocity was specific to that test site and those two towns, however, and reflected the reciprocity shown to Minnesotans by North Dakota on earlier occasions.

The state reported 26,343 tests on Friday, and the state's test positivity rate rose to 6%. The number of ICU beds being used for COVID-19 rose to 160.

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  • Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
  • COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148
  • Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.