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A record 72 deaths in Minnesota's Nov. 19 COVID update

20% of all COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota have come in the first 19 days of November.

A record 72 deaths and a further 7,877 cases have been reported Thursday in the Minnesota Department of Health's COVID-19 update. It breaks the previous record set just 24 hours earlier when 67 deaths were reported Wednesday.

November has been a very deadly month for COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 629 deaths reported in the first 19 days of the month. That's 20% of the state's total COVID-19 deaths – 3,082 – since the start of the pandemic. For more perspective, there were 423 fatal cases in all of October. 

Of the 72 newly reported deaths, 51 were residents of long-term care facilities, who have accounted for 68% (2,117) of all COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota. There were also two relatively young patients who died: a person aged 35-39 from Wilkin County and a person in their 40s from Anoka County. 

Hospitalizations

Through Nov. 18, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,751, which marks an all-time high. Of those hospitalized, 367 patients are in intensive care and 1,384 are receiving non-ICU treatment.

Note: Hospital totals are preliminary and are subject to adjustment in the days ahead.

Testing and positivity rates

The 7,877 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 56,820 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 13.86%.

Those completed tests were from 28,715 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 27.4% today.

The World Health Organization recommended in May that a percent positive rate (total positives divided by total completed tests) of below 5% for at least two weeks is necessary to safely reopen the economy. That 5% threshold is based on total positives divided by total tests.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's percent positive over the past seven days is 14.44%.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 3,601,197 (up from 3,543,671)
  • People tested: 2,233,127 (up from 2,204,412)
  • Positive cases: 249,906 (up from 242,043)
  • Deaths: 3,082 – 53 of which are "probable*" (up from 3,010)
  • Active cases: 51,541 (up fro 48,174)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 198,365 (up from 193,869)

* Probable deaths are patients who died after testing positive using the COVID-19 antigen test, which is thought to be less accurate than the more common PCR test.

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