Dec. 31 COVID-19 update: Minnesota surpasses 5,300 deaths in 2020

Sixty-one more deaths and more than 2,200 new cases were reported Thursday.
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Thursday's coronavirus update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 61 more deaths and more than 2,200 new cases of COVID-19.

There have now been 5,323 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which 64.4% (3,431) came from long-term care, including 37 of the 61 reported Thursday. 

Minnesota has yet to confirm the new variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in Europe and other parts of the world.

The state is now providing updates for how many people have received the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Through Dec. 30, the state says 44,638 people have been vaccinated in Minnesota, the large majority of whom have received the Pfizer vaccine. 


Through Dec. 30, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 895. Of those hospitalized, 196 (down from 207 the day before) are in intensive care, and 699 (down from 719 the day before) were receiving non-ICU treatment.

There are currently 132 (down from 143 the day before) available staffed ICU beds in Minnesota.

Testing and positivity rates

The 2,204 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 48,440 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.55%.

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 4.94%, making Minnesota one of only five states – Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota and Vermont are the others – in the U.S. under a 5% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,574,962 (up from 5,527,037)
  • People tested: 2,972,804 (up from 2,961,242)
  • Positive cases: 415,302 (up from 413,107)
  • Deaths: 5,323 – 172 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,262)
  • Active cases: 18,222 (up from 17,428)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 397,080 (up from 395,679)
  • Total people vaccinated: 44,638 (up from 38,284)

* 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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