Friday's COVID-19 situation report from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that just over 600 more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the latest reporting period, which began Wednesday at 4 p.m. and ended Thursday at 4 p.m.
The report includes five more deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus in Minnesota to 1,495. Four of the five were from private residences, while one lived in a long-term care or assisted-living facility.
Three people from Ramsey County died, aged in their 50s, 60s and 90s, respectively; one person in Olmsted County in their 90s died; and one person from Hennepin County in their 60s succumbed to the disease.
Five of the 609 positive tests have been removed for an official tally of 604. Cases are removed for a variety of reasons, including patients being from another state and false positive test results.
The 604 positives came from 20,385 tests, creating a daily positive test rate of approximately 3%. It's the lowest positive test rate this week, with the previous higher positivity rates possibly attributable to targeted testing in locations where the virus was known to be circulating, according to MDH infectious disease expert Kris Ehresmann.
The positive test rates for each day of reporting this week are:
- Monday: 7.6%
- Tuesday: 10.2%
- Wednesday: 5.9%
- Thursday: 4.6%
- Friday: 2.96%
The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5% is the key to keeping businesses open. Minnesota's 7-day rolling, as of Thursday, was 3.94%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Tests: 725,825 (up from 705,440)
- Confirmed cases: 40,767 (up from 40,163)
- Deaths: 1,495 (up from 1,490)
- Still hospitalized: 227 (down from 251)
- Patients in intensive care: 124 (up from 116)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 35,442 (up from 35,193)
There have been 38 patients deemed to have "probably" died from COVID-19, though that total isn't included in the aforementioned death toll. Those cases represent victims who never received a COVID-19 test, but for whom doctors believe within a reasonable degree of certainty that the virus caused their death.