The Minnesota Department of Health reported 22 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, but also reported the lowest number of new cases since late August, with just over 3,500 announced in the latest 24-hour report. That comes with the caveat that testing was also the lowest it has been in recent weeks.
The death toll from the virus is now at 3,615. Of those, 2,430 fatal cases involved residents of long-term care facilities, including 17 of the 22 newly reported deaths Tuesday.
November was far and away been Minnesota's deadliest month, with 1,140 fatal cases. That's nearly triple the 423 people who died from the disease in October.
Through Nov. 30, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,840. Of those hospitalized, 394 patients were in intensive care and 1,446 are receiving non-ICU treatment.
The state's COVID-19 dashboard now says there are 101 available staffed ICU beds, which is 11 more than were available on Monday.
Note: Hospital totals are preliminary and are subject to adjustment in the days ahead.
Testing and positivity rates
The 3,570 positive results in Tuesday's update were from a total of 22,757 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 15.69%.
Those completed tests were from 9,330 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 38.26% 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 10.57%.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 4,284,423 (up from 4,262,806)
- People tested: 2,539,003 (up from 2,529,673)
- Positive cases: 322,312 (up from 318,763)
- Deaths: 3,615 – 72 of which are "probable*" (up from 3,593)
- Active cases: 42,772 (down from 46,155)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 279,540 (up from 272,608)
* Probable deaths are patients who died after testing positive using the COVID-19