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COVID-19: December now deadliest month in Minnesota

The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health.
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December is now the deadliest month so far in the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota, with Saturday's COVID-19 report including 2,746 new cases and 57 deaths.

The 57 newly reported deaths brings the number of fatal COVID-19 cases in Minnesota during the pandemic to 4,780. Long-term care deaths account for 64.9% of the total, including 34 of the 57 reported Saturday.

The state has reported 1,187 deaths so far in December after reporting 1,136 fatal cases in November, which was far and away the deadliest month in Minnesota up until this month.

Hospitalizations

Minnesota doesn't update its hospitalization levels at the weekend.

Through Dec. 17, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,144. The numbers have dropped since reaching a high mark of 1,840 on Nov. 30.

Of those currently hospitalized, 270 patients are in intensive care and 874 are receiving non-ICU treatment. It's the fewest COVID-19 patients in ICU since Nov. 9 (249) and the fewest non-ICU patients since Nov. 6 (857).

Here's how many people with COVID-19 were in intensive care by region, through Dec. 17:

  • Metro: 177 (down from 193 the day before)
  • Central: 34 (down from 37)
  • Northeast: 27 (up from 25)
  • Southeast: 20 (down from 21)
  • Northwest: 6 (no change)
  • South Central: 6 (up from 5)
  • West Central: 0 (down from 1)
  • Southwest: 0 (down from 1)

Statewide, there were 134 (up from 128 the day before) available staffed ICU beds through Dec. 17. These numbers are directly impacted by both the number of patients in ICU (for all health reasons, not just COVID-19) and the number of available staff. You can see the breakdown by region right here/below.

  • Metro: 44 staffed ICU beds available
  • Central: 22
  • Northeast: 11
  • Southeast: 21
  • Northwest: 15
  • South Central: 4
  • West Central: 12
  • Southwest: 5

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

Testing and positivity rates

The 2,746 positive results in Saturday's update were from a total of 36,980 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 7.42%.

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 7.51%.

The 36,980 completed tests were from 10,442 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 26.2% today.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,133,936 (up from 5,096,768)
  • People tested: 2,836,898 (up from 2,826,456)
  • Positive cases:  394,635 (up from 391,889)
  • Deaths: 4,780 – 131 of which are "probable*" (up from 4,723)
  • Active cases: 29,015 (down from 31,021)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 365,620 (up from 360,868)

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