The state of Minnesota recorded 847 more cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest one-day case count yet. The new cases included a continuation of unexplained spikes in rural counties. "We have some of the most rapid increases in our counties around the country," state commissioner of health Jan Malcolm said at the briefing.

Stearns County, home to a widely noted outbreak at two processing plants two weeks ago, added 38 cases. Mower County has more than doubled its case count in the past week, from 54 to 138. Todd County has quadrupled in case totals over the past seven day, from 46 to 183 cases. Hubbard County had its first case recorded on Saturday, leaving just three counties without recorded cases, Cook, Lake of the Woods and Stevens.

The new cases bring the state total to 19, 845, just 55 cases to the 20,000 mark.

Also, the state recorded 10 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the statewide death total from the illness to 852. The new deaths were recorded in Ramsey, Clay and Cass counties (one each), with two deaths in Anoka County and five in Hennepin County.

Eight of the deaths occurred among residents of long-term care, and one of a resident in a group home.

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The state reported 8,522 tests on Saturday, and has now tested 189,493 residents. Health officials have stressed that test materials are now widely available, as are test sites, and that all persons with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to seek testing.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Health on Saturday announced 49 new cases of COVID-19, with the majority of cases from the Fargo area.

The number of new cases is down from 89 on Thursday, and a record-high 133 cases on Wednesday. It’s the lowest daily positive count in almost a week.

This comes a day after Gov. Doug Bergum announced that no criminal charges or penalties will be held against businesses that don’t follow operation guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fifty-two North Dakotans, including 41 from Cass County, have died from the virus that has claimed more than 96,000 lives nationwide.

The confirmed cases bring the total to 2,365 in the state. A total of 1,451 individuals have now recovered from the virus. In addition, 39 people remain hospitalized; in all, 150 residents have been hospitalized in North Dakota.

South Dakota

Positive coronavirus cases rose 43 to 1,082, as results from the state's mass testing in elder care facilities surged testing numbers.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported Saturday that 4,468 state residents have tested positive for the virus, up 112 from the previous day. The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 remained unchanged at 50. Ninety people in the state are currently hospitalized due to the illness.

Wisconsin

The state reported a total of 14,877 positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday, an increase of 511 from Friday’s report. There have been a total of 507 deaths in the state, which is up 11 from Friday.

Around the region

  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday announced he was lifting restrictions on churches and other houses of worship, allowing them to hold services for groups larger than 10 people beginning Wednesday, May 27.
  • The NBA confirmed Saturday that talks are underway with Disney to restart the season this summer in Orlando, Fla.
  • The National Hockey League Players' Association executive board approved a proposal to resume the 2019-20 season with a 24-team, conference-based playoff format.

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