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Dec. 23 COVID-19 update: 75 deaths pushes Minnesota's death toll to near 5,000

The state will not provide a daily update on Christmas Day.

Seventy-five deaths have been added to Minnesota's COVID-19 toll, as well as more than 1,500 new cases, according to Wednesday's report from the state health department.

December has now seen 1,378, which is the most of any month in Minnesota during the pandemic. There were fewer than 500 deaths in October before November's death toll skyrocketed to 1,136. Since the first death was reported March 21, Minnesota has reported a total of 4,971 fatal cases.

Long-term care deaths account for 64.8% (3,220) of the total, including 45 of the 75 reported Tuesday.

Other than deaths, Minnesota's COVID-19 numbers are mostly declining. For perspective, consider that in mid-November Minnesota was reporting more than 50,000 active cases. There are now 23,007 active cases, according to the health department.


Through Dec. 21, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,060. This is up from 1,040 on Monday and significantly lower than the high point of 1,840 on Nov. 30.

Of those hospitalized, 228 were in intensive care, and 832 were receiving non-ICU treatment. An update Wednesday has not yet been provided. 

Testing and positivity rates

The 1,513 positive results in Wednesday's update were from a total of 23,563 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 6.42%.

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.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,287,998 (up from 5,264,561)
  • People tested: 2,889,650 (up from 2,881,770)
  • Positive cases: 402,519 (up from 401,011)
  • Deaths: 4,971 – 137 of which are "probable*" (up from 4,896)
  • Active cases: 23,007 (down from 24,657)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 379,512 (up from 376,354)

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