A published report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on May 20th said Minnesota was taking positive COVID-19 patients and placing the patients back into long-term care facilities. Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcom was asked about the practice Wednesday.

“That has been an affirmative part of our plan all along,” said Malcom. “We wanted to get people out of the hospital as soon as they no longer need hospital-level care. That’s for their own protection as health-care acquired infections are a real concern. We also wanted to free up acute level care capacity.”

Governor Tim Walz also chimed in on the issue

“These are folks that went to the hospital and recovered,” said Walz. “They are going back to their homes. That is where they live. That provides them a sense of normalcy. This was federal guidance. This is what everyone was doing. This is not a mistake. There was a complexity of how to deal with this.”

MDH says 759 of the state’s 932 COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long term care facilities. The 81 percent of coronavirus deaths occurring in long-term care facilities is the highest rate of any state in the nation.