Friday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) includes 1,001 new cases and eight deaths.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 6,412 over the course of the pandemic. Of those deaths, 62.8% (4,029) were residents of long-term care, including two of eight reported Friday.
Through Feb. 16 the state reported that 728,081 people have received at least 1 dose of the a COVID-19 vaccine while 286,543 people have completed both doses of vaccine that are required for the vaccines' maximum effect.
MDH has a public dashboard to track vaccine progress in Minnesota, and you can view it here.
Two new variants of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Minnesota, including what was the first known case of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States. That case involves a Minnesotan who traveled to Brazil. There are 8 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. Both new strains are believed to be more transmissible.
Through Feb. 17, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 282 – the fewest since Sept. 20 (248). Of those hospitalized, 59 were in intensive care and 223 were receiving non-ICU treatment.
For context, Minnesota reached a high point of 1,840 COVID hospitalizations in late November.
Statewide, there were 155 staffed ICU beds available. During the November surge the state had fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available. The number of available beds is dependent on the number of available staff, so the totals are constantly changing.
Testing and positivity rates
The 1,001 positive results in Friday's update were from a total of 45,367 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 2.2%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 3.20%. It's around the same rate Minnesota had in September before a surge in cases boosted the rate to above 15% in November.
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.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 7,100,497 (up from 7,055,550)
- People tested: 3,398,492 (up from 3,386,418)
- People with at least 1 vaccine shot: 728,081 (up from 710,305)
- People with 2 vaccine shots: 286,543 (up from 264,122)
- Positive cases: 477,287 (up from 476,292)
- Deaths: 6,412 – 269 of which are "probable*" (up from 6,404)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 463,454 (up from 463,041)
* 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.