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Dec. 8 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations tick up, testing and positive results down

Testing was down in the latest report, thus fewer positive results.

Twenty-two more deaths brings the number of fatal COVID-19 cases in Minnesota during the pandemic to 4,027, according to Tuesday's situation report from the state health department. 

The state has reported 434 deaths through the first eight days of December after reporting 1,140 fatal cases in November, which is far and away the deadliest month in Minnesota so far.

Tuesday's update included 15 more fatal cases of residents of long-term care facilities, which have accounted for 2,660 of the 4,027 total deaths.

Hospitalizations

Through Dec. 7, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,604, which is up 20 from Monday's report but still lower than the high point of more than 1,848 on Nov. 30. Of those hospitalized, 359 patients were in intensive care and 1,245 are receiving non-ICU treatment.

Here's how many people with COVID-19 were in intensive care by region, through Dec. 7:

  • Metro: 230 (up from 225 the day before)
  • Central: 44 (up from 41)
  • Northeast: 34 (up from 33)
  • Southeast: 28 (up from 25)
  • Northwest: 13 (up from 11)
  • South Central: 7 (down from 9)
  • West Central: 0 (down from 1)
  • Southwest: 3 (level)

Statewide, there were 124 (down from 141 the day before) available staffed ICU beds through Dec. 7. These numbers are directly impacted by both the number of patients in ICU (for all health reasons, not just COVID-19) and the number of available staff. You can see the breakdown by region right here/below.

  • Metro: 37
  • Central: 16
  • Northeast: 14
  • Southeast: 21
  • Northwest: 12
  • South Central: 7
  • West Central: 11
  • Southwest: 6

Note: Hospital totals are preliminary and are subject to adjustment in the days ahead.

Testing and positivity rates

The 3,080 positive results in Tuesday's update were from a total of 27,432 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 11.22%, which snaps a two-day streak with a positivity rate below 9%. 

Similarly low testing volume and positive results were reported last Tuesday before numbers rose the rest of the week. 

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 11.07%.

The 27,432 completed tests were from 10,100 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 30.5% today.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 4,650,726 (up from 4,623,492)
  • People tested: 2,679,221 (up from 2,669,121)
  • Positive cases: 359,203 (up from 356,152)
  • Deaths: 4,027 – 94 of which are "probable*" (up from 4,005)
  • Active cases: 44,246 (up from 42,014)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 314,957 (up from 314,138)

* Probable deaths are patients who died after testing positive using the COVID-19 antigen test, which is not as accurate as the more common PCR test.

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