ROCHESTER, Minn. — The state of Minnesota reported 697 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, Aug. 13. The new cases bring the state laboratory-confirmed total to 62,993.

Rural Beltrami, Chippewa, McLeod, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright and Watonwan counties all had new case totals in the double digits, with Watonwan posting 40 cases in a single day.

The state health department also reported an additional 7 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday.

Nobles, Otter Tail, Ramsey, Waseca and Washington counties recorded a single death from the virus, with Hennepin County posting two deaths.

Three of the seven deaths were among residents of long-term care.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Testing was high for the day, with 14,744 tests. The number of Minnesotans hospitalized with the virus is now 308, evenly split with 154 in an ICU and 154 in a non-ICU setting.

Also on Thursday, the University of Minnesota announced that it is treating the first patient in the United States to take part in a controlled study of so-called mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs.

The agents which are produced within the University of Minnesota are seen as hopeful for halting the intense inflammatory response of the body referred to as a “cytokine storm,” a fatal response in the sickest COVID-19 patients.

The illness in fatal cases is increasingly viewed as an immune repsonse that goes off track, and the FDA-approved trial will attempt to replicate promising findings from China and Italy suggesting MSCs can be effective biologic treatment for COVID-19.

As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status. If this coverage is important to you, please consider supporting local journalism by clicking on the subscribe button in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.

  • 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.