More than 1,100 new cases of COVID-19 were revealed in Thursday's update from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), though the single-day record is a result of a Minnesota provider and lab returning a backlog of data.
There were 1,158 new cases, with 265 of these coming from Valley Medical, which the MDH criticized as having an "inconsistent record of reporting results to the state despite the requirements of the communicable disease reporting rule."
Valley Medical's backlog included almost 19,000 test results, of which more than 14,000 still need to be processed and will therefore affect daily reports until early next week, the MDH said.
"More concerning, delayed reporting also means that 265 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were not contacted by health officials in a timely manner," the MDH said.
"This creates multiple problems – not only does it mean the person tested is unaware of their infection and the need to self-isolate to protect family, friends and close contacts, but it also delays our case investigation work and makes it harder to slow the spread of this disease."
Valley Medical serves Hennepin and Dakota counties, with clinics in Burnsville, Minneapolis and Woodbury.
13 more deaths, other daily numbers
Not affected by the backlog are the newly reported deaths in Thursday's update. The 13 new deaths bring the state's total to 1,806.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped from 312 Tuesday to 304 Wednesday, with the ICU total moving down from 137 to 134.
Thursday's update includes 1,158 new positive tests for the coronavirus, four of which have been removed for an official count of 1,154 new cases. Those positive cases are the result of 14,343 people tested, creating a 24-hour reporting period test positivity rate of 8.07%.
The positive test rate is lower from the perspective when the number of individuals producing positive tests (1,154) divided by total completed tests (21,144). In that case, the positivity rate is 5.46%.
The "tests completed" number is always higher than the "people tested" metric because some people get tested multiple times and those who test positive are only counted once, so it produces a less accurate positivity rate.
The test positivity rate over a 7-day average, based on total number of people tested, according to Johns Hopkins University, was 6.71% as of Wednesday.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Total tests: 1,427,347 (up from 1,406,007)
- People tested: 1,093,390 (up from 1,079,047)
- Positive cases: 72,390 (up from 71,236)
- Deaths: 1,806 (up from 1,779)
- Currently hospitalized: 305 (up from 304)
- Patients in intensive care: 139 (up from 134)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 64,876 (up from 64,374)
There have also been 49 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the "probable" cause, though it's not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.