Seventy-seven more people have died from COVID-19 and nearly 5,200 more people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a Wednesday update from the Minnesota Department of Health.
The death toll from the virus is now at 3,692. Of those, 2,474 fatal cases involved residents of long-term care facilities, including 44 of the 77 newly reported deaths Tuesday.
The newly reported fatal cases include two people aged in their 30s: a person 35-39 from Stearns County and someone aged 35-39 from Hennepin County. Another fatal case involved a person in their 40s from Washington County. There were four other deaths of people under the age of 60.
Through Dec. 1, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,704, which is a sharp drop from 1,840 on Tuesday. Of those hospitalized, 354 (down from 394) patients were in intensive care and 1,350 (down from 1,446) are receiving non-ICU treatment.
But even though the number of people with COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals dropped day-over-day, there are now only 99 available staffed ICU beds in the state, which is down from 101 the day before.
Areas in red in the map below are especially strained, namely south-central Minnesota where there is just one available staffed ICU bed, and the metro region, where there are only 31 available staffed ICU beds.
Note: Hospital totals are preliminary and are subject to adjustment in the days ahead.
Testing and positivity rates
The 5,192 positive results in Wednesday's update were from a total of 42,737 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 12.15%.
Those completed tests were from 17,740 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 29.27% 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 10.65%.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 4,326,347 (up from 4,284,423)
- People tested: 2,556,743 (up from 2,539,003)
- Positive cases: 327,477 (up from 322,312)
- Deaths: 3,692 – 79 of which are "probable*" (up from 3,615)
- Active cases: 41,258 (down from 42,772)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 286,219 (up from 279,540)
* Probable deaths are patients who died after testing positive using the COVID-19