Author

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.

More than 150,000 Minnesota households don’t have broadband access

By: - March 31, 2020

More than 150,000 Minnesota households don’t have access to high-speed broadband internet, a longstanding disparity that experts say is even more troubling now that residents are asked to stay home from work and school. Temporary fixes like public hotspots and free internet service from certain providers during the COVID-19 outbreak have helped some Minnesotans get online, […]

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any night in 2018, report says

By: - March 26, 2020

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any given night in 2018, according to a new study released Wednesday. The estimate comes from Wilder Research’s most recent one-day study of homelessness in Minnesota, conducted in 2018. The nonprofit research group counted 10,233 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in October that year, up 10% from […]

Your questions on the Minnesota stay-at-home order answered

By: , and - March 25, 2020

Why again are we doing this? Gov. Tim Walz warned that if the state did nothing to slow the rate of COVID-19 infections, Minnesota’s death toll could rise to 74,000. The stay-at-home order is intended to buy Minnesota health officials time to build its intensive-care treatment capacity and ramp up testing.   I’m running low on […]

Daily COVID-19 tracker: Confirmed cases, testing, layoffs

By: - March 25, 2020

Minnesota reported 31,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on June 17. More than 3,600 patients have been hospitalized, and 27,404 have recovered and no longer need to be isolated, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. To date, 1,325 people have died, most of them residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Because of limited […]

Gov. Walz says he isn’t ready to issue a shelter-in-place order yet

By: - March 23, 2020

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is not yet prepared to join his counterparts in states like Ohio, Michigan and California who have issued shelter-in-place orders, but he said Monday such an order here would likely have to span at least several weeks to be effective. Walz, who has already taken steps like closing dine-in services at […]

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota reach 115

By: - March 20, 2020

One-hundred-fifteen people in Minnesota have tested positive for COVID-19, the state announced Friday, up from 89 the day before. A total of 3,856 people have been tested, an increase of 818 tests — about 26% — from Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Officials say the number of confirmed cases is likely an […]

The COVID-19 pandemic could be ‘devastating’ in rural areas

By: - March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is not hitting greater Minnesota as early or as hard as the metro yet, but rural health care systems may be ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak, with fewer health care workers and hospital beds than cities. One-third of Minnesota counties — all of them rural — have fewer than about 25 […]

Minnesota now has 89 confirmed COVID-19 cases

By: - March 19, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Minnesota has reached 89, the state announced Thursday, up from 77 the day before. A total of 3,038 people have been tested, an increase of 276 tests, about 9%, from Wednesday according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Officials said the number of confirmed cases is likely an undercount […]

Even optimistic COVID-19 scenarios mean Minnesota hospitals will be overrun, data show

By: - March 17, 2020

Minnesota’s hospitals are not prepared to handle the COVID-19 epidemic, according to data from the Harvard Global Health Institute. Although the state has identified just 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, far more people will fall ill in the coming months, experts believe. The number of people requiring hospitalization here could drastically exceed […]

Minnesota now has 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19

By: - March 17, 2020

Minnesota has 60 positive cases of COVID-19, the state announced Tuesday, up from 54 Monday. To date, approximately 2,336 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The cases are spread across 13 counties: Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Stearns, Wright, Waseca and […]

Minnesota now has 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19

By: - March 16, 2020

Fifty-four people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Minnesota, the state announced Monday, up from 35 positive cases Sunday. The state has tested approximately 1,893 people for the virus, according to updated figures from the Minnesota Department of Health. Blue Earth County and Benton County both reported their first known cases Monday. Identified cases in […]

There are as many homeless kids in Minnesota as the population of some small cities

By: - March 9, 2020

More than 9,000 Minnesota students were identified as homeless at the start of the 2019-20 school year, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Education. That’s about as many people who live in cities like Detroit Lakes and Waseca.  The proportion of Minnesota students who experience homelessness has hovered around 1% for at least […]