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COVID-19: A further 54 deaths, more than 2,500 cases

The figures for New Year's Eve have been released by MDH.
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Saturday's coronavirus update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 54 more deaths and more than 2,500 new cases of COVID-19.

Due to no data being reported on New Year's Day, the data released Saturday is from Thursday, New Year's Eve. Figures from both Friday and Saturday will be released in Sunday's update.

There have now been 5,377 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which (64.4%) (3,464) came from long-term care, including 33 of the 54 reported Saturday.

Minnesota has yet to confirm the new variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in Europe and other parts of the world.

The state is now providing updates for how many people have received the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Through Jan. 2, the state says 57,017 people have been vaccinated in Minnesota, the large majority of whom are healthcare workers who have received the Pfizer vaccine.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalization figures aren't updated at weekends. On Dec. 30, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota stood at 895.

Of those hospitalized, 196 were in intensive care, and 699 were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Testing and positivity rates

The 2,530 positive results in Saturday's update were from a total of 41,646 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 6.07%. This marks a rise in cases and the positivity rate compared to the numbers seen last week.

However, it's hard to gauge whether this means the dip in cases seen in December is ending, given there may be anomalies in reporting due to the holiday weekend.

The World Health Organization recommends 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 test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.2%, with Minnesota no longer one of the states with a 7-day positive rate below 5%, having achieved that mark for a few days last week.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,616,567 (up from 5,574,962)
  • People tested: 2,982,853 (up from 2,972,804)
  • Positive cases: 417,832 (up from 415,302)
  • Deaths: 5,377 – 176 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,323)
  • Active cases: 19,633 (up from 18,222)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 398,199 (up from 397,080)
  • Total people vaccinated: 57,017 (up from 44,638)

* 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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