Monday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 12 new deaths and fewer than 1,000 new cases.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 5,939 over the course of the pandemic, of which 63.7% (3,786) were residents of long-term care, including seven of the 12 reported Monday.
It's possible that the new deaths and cases are lower than they have been in recent days due to a reporting lag from the weekend, though both cases and deaths have been trending down in recent weeks.
Minnesota last Saturday confirmed the first five cases of the U.K.-based mutant variant of COVID-19, with residents in four Twin Cities counties testing positive for the B.1.1.7. variant after falling ill between Dec. 16-31. A health department spokesperson told BMTN Thursday that no new cases of the variant have been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the state reported that, through Jan. 15, 194,462 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 38,025 people have completed both doses of vaccine that are required for the vaccines' full effect.
The health department has launched a public dashboard to track vaccine distribution throughout Minnesota, and you can view it here.
Hospitalization data has not yet been updated.
Through Jan. 14, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 612, which is the lowest number of COVID admissions reported since Oct. 25 (584).
Of those hospitalized, 125 (up from 131 the day before) were in intensive care, and 487 (down from 514) were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Statewide, there were 148 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 969 positive results in Monday's update were from a total of 21,438 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.52%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.09%, making it one of the lowest rates in the country.
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: 6,173,664 (up from 6,152,636)
- People tested: 3,152,124 (up from 3,145,270)
- Positive cases: 447,349 (up from 446,380)
- Deaths: 5,939 – 218 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,927)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 429,325 (up from 427,468)
* 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.