MDH reveals 138 previously unreported nursing home deaths

Private labs were in "violation of a state rule" by not previously reporting the cases and deaths published March 9, of which all deaths came from long-term care facilities.

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The Minnesota Department of Health reported 140 new deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday, 138 of those deaths coming from long-term care/assisted-living facilities. The 138 deaths were previously unreported to MDH.

The other two cases were new deaths from a private residence and group home.

The MDH provides a daily “situation update” for COVID numbers, including total positive cases, newly reported cases and deaths, total tests completed, and specific demographics of cases and deaths, among other information.

The daily update for March 9 included a note clarifying why the newly reported deaths and cases were higher than usual — COVID numbers in the week leading up to March 9 showed between three and 17 newly reported deaths per day, compared to Tuesday’s 140 newly reported deaths.

“An audit by MDH epidemiologists of unverified possible COVID-19 case reports identified 891 cases and 138 deaths that were previously unreported to MDH by private labs in violation of a state rule,” the update reads.

Further breakdown of the newly reported deaths reveals that 138 of the 140 came from long-term care/assisted-living facilities.

The unreported cases and deaths all occurred in the last year, according to MDH.

The 891 cases will be presented in the data by the dates they occurred, but the deaths will “appear as a one-day spike because deaths are represented by the date reported,” MDH said in its daily update.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently under FBI investigation for underreporting nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.