ROCHESTER, Minn. — The state of Minnesota reported 6,812 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, Nov. 20. The new cases bring the state total to 256,700 laboratory-confirmed cases thus far.

The state reported 68 deaths on Friday as well. Since Monday, the virus has killed 245 Minnesotans.

There have now been 3,150 deaths from the virus in the state.

The news came on the final day before an extensive dialing-back as of 11:59 p.m. Friday of permitted activities by executive order of the governor. An emergency effort by the Gov. Tim Walz administration, it hopes to curtail an ongoing spike in cases, deaths and hospitalizations that have seen the Upper Midwest become the most virulent region of the country for the illness.

The state has ordered the four-week closure of all eating-in at restaurants and bars, ending youth sports, as well as the shuttering of theaters, rec centers, gyms, bowling lanes and an end to wedding and funeral receptions and gatherings outside the immediate family in or outside the home.

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Retail shopping and salons have been identified as areas of low risk and are permitted to stay open at half capacity, but the state has aggressively prevailed on extended families to cancel gathering together for Thanksgiving.

The youngest to die Friday were aged in their 40s, while 44 of the 68 were residents of long-term care.

It was a week of terrible records, and yet a week that is likely to look modest by this time next week should current trends hold.

The 68 deaths reported Friday were just ahead of the 67 reported killed Wednesday, and second only to the record for one-day loss of life that was the 72 residents who perished from the virus Thursday.

Over 54,000 Minnesotans were tested for the virus Thursday, and over 2.25 million Minnesotans have been tested so far, a figure approaching half the population.

Hospitals are entering uncharted territory, with one third of all ICU patients suffering from the same illness, a novel, resource-intensive course of care with an uncertain outcome and fewer and fewer skilled nursing staff, thanks to health care workers succumbing to the illness through exposure outside the hospital.

The latest closures seek to lessen these new infections among health care workers and to enable the health care system to treat the waves of new hospitalizations expected to arrive over the holidays.

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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.