Minnesota reached 700 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, May 16, according to state health officials.

The state added 17 deaths Saturday. The deceased included one resident each in Clay, Dakota, Martin and Stearns counties, two residents of Anoka County, five of Hennepin County and six in Ramsey County. Fourteen were residents of long-term care. All were in their 70s through their 90s, except for one Ramsey County resident in their 40s.

Though 17 deaths in a single day is a number once viewed as alarming, it's the third day in a row of declining deaths from COVID-19. Previous daily death totals in the 20 to 25 range have created a dispiriting, if stable, mortality toll that had looked to place the state on a trajectory to reach 1,000 deaths by the end of May.

The near-record 740 new cases recorded Saturday were cast widely across the state. Meat processing locales, including Nobles, Stearns and Kandiyohi counties, are no longer home to the largest daily uptick in new cases. Metro-area counties like Hennepin and Ramsey led the new case totals on Saturday with 259 and 129 respectively, followed by case totals in the 40s for Anoka and Dakota counties, in the 30s for Stearns County, and in the 20s for third-ring suburban communities.

In outstate Minnesota, there were three dozen counties with new cases in the single digits, suggesting density is not a factor in spread.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Health on Saturday announced 88 new cases of COVID-19, most of which came from the state's hot spot and largest metro area — Cass County. It's the second highest number of new cases confirmed in a single day since the outbreak began in March.

The total number of positive tests for the virus in the state is at 1,848, but 1,111 people have recovered from the illness, including 40 announced Saturday. There are 33 residents hospitalized with the illness, down two from Friday.

Forty-two North Dakotans, including 32 residents of Cass County, have died from the illness that has claimed more than 88,000 lives nationwide. At least 29 of the deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to the department.

In one of its most successful testing days, the state announced 2,861 test results on Saturday.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Health reported a total of 1,242 active cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

That’s a decrease of 27 from Friday and deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus remained at 44 in the state. The state reported a total of 3,959 positive cases, up 72 from Friday. Minnehaha County leads the state in active cases with 928 active cases.

Wisconsin

The state Department of Health Services reported a total of 12,187 active cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, an increase of 502 from Friday’s reported cases.

A total of 453 Wisconsin residents have died from COVID-19, while a total of 134,206 people have tested negative for the virus.

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