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Dec. 27 COVID-19 update: Test positivity rate continues to drop in Minnesota

Only four states are currently under a 5% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
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Sunday's coronavirus update from the Minnesota Department of Health is a combination of results collected Dec. 25-26, and it reveals 40 more deaths and more than 2,500 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

There have now been 5,147 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which 64.7% (3,332) came from long-term care, including 27 of the 40 reported Sunday.

The positive news is that the test positivity rate continues to drop and Minnesota is down to just over 20,000 active cases, which is far below the peak of more than 50,000 active cases in mid-November. 

Hospitalizations

Hospitalization figures are not updated at weekends.

Through Dec. 23, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,048. This is down from the 1,060 hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Of those hospitalized, 238 were in intensive care, and 810 were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Testing and positivity rates

The 2,534 positive results in Sunday's update were from a total of 87,990 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 2.88%, which is a step in the right direction in terms of how widespread the virus may be in Minnesota.

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 test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.18%. There are only four states in the U.S. under a 5% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average, and Minnesota could soon become the fifth if the current trend continues. 

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,480,439 (up from 5,392,411)
  • People tested: 2,947,634 (up from 2,918,243)
  • Positive cases: 409,061 (up from 406,545)
  • Deaths: 5,107 – 154 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,107)
  • Active cases: 20,142 (down from 23,840)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 388,919 (up from 382,705)

* 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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