St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)  - The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed the life of a Minnesotan.

The Minnesota Department of Health today reported the state's first death resulting from the new viral illness. Officials say the individual was a Ramsey County resident in their 80s who died Thursday.

The deceased recently tested positive for the new coronavirus and it's believed the person contracted the infection due to contact with an earlier confirmed case. Officials say the person was a family member with a history of international travel.

Gwen and I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss,” said Governor Tim Walz. “As COVID-19 continues to spread in Minnesota, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe.”

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm says the death underscores the importance of protecting our most vulnerable Minnesotans during the outbreak. She says it emphasizes the need for Minnesotans to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.

The Department of Health says testing for the new coronavirus identified 22 new cases throughout Minnesota yesterday. That raised a statewide total to 137 with just under 4100 tests processed. A total of 12 people have been hospitalized because of the infection. 6 are currently in the hospital and 4 of them are in ICU units.

There was one new case in Olmsted County, which is now seen 12 COVID 19 cases since the start of the outbreak. Mower County has three confirmed cases, there have been two cases in Fillmore and Steele Counties, and one in Dodge County.

The health department also reported one case in Wabasha County, which is the first in that  County., So far, Winona, Houston, and Goodhue County have not seen any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

*the number of new cases and the overall number of confirmed cases were corrected to reflect changes made by the Health Department due to a clerical error. 

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