Tuesday's coronavirus update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 36 more deaths, though the number of active cases statewide are dropping.
There have now been 5,196 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which 64.5% (3,351) came from long-term care, including 12 of the 36 reported Tuesday. Tuesday's update includes three people in their 40s who died from the disease.
Minnesota is down to 17,604 active cases – more than 30,000 fewer than the peak in November, which exceeded 50,000.
Minnesota, nor anywhere in the United States, has yet to confirm the new variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in Europe and other parts of the world.
Hospital numbers through Dec. 28 were not yet available at the time of this writing.
Through Dec. 27, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,048. This is down from the 1,048 in the last update provided through Dec. 23.
Of those hospitalized, 203 are in intensive care, and 675 were receiving non-ICU treatment. It's the fewest ICU COVID-19 patients since Nov. 3 (198).
There are currently 158 available staffed ICU beds in Minnesota, which is a big improvement from when there were fewer than 100 a few weeks ago.
Testing and positivity rates
The 988 positive results in Tuesday's update were from a total of 7,742 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 12.76%.
The World Health Organization recommends 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 4.61%, making Minnesota one of only four states in the U.S. under a 5% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 5,501,277 (up from 5,493,773)
- People tested: 2,953,259 (up from 2,942,115)
- Positive cases: 411,110 (up from 410,138)
- Deaths: 5,196 – 158 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,160)
- Active cases: 17,604 (down from 18,890)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 393,506 (up from 391,248)
* 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.