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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, Feb. 18

The latest information from the state health department.

Thursday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) includes 928 new cases and 14 deaths.

The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 6,404 over the course of the pandemic. Of those deaths, 62.8% (4,027) were residents of long-term care, including eight of 14 reported Thursday.

Among the deaths reported Thursday, one person was aged 30-34 from Mower County. It marks the 12th death of a person in that age range in Minnesota, and the 49th fatal case of someone under the age of 40 in the state. 

Through Feb. 16 the state reported that 710,305 people have received at least 1 dose of the a COVID-19 vaccine while 264,122 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.

Hospitalizations

Through Feb. 17, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 287 – the fewest since Sept. 20. Of those hospitalized, 54 were in intensive care and 233 were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Statewide, there were 156 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 928 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 33,915 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 2.73%.

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: 7,055,550 (up from 7,021,209)
  • People tested: 3,386,418 (up from 3,378,669)
  • People with at least 1 vaccine shot: 710,305 (up from 695,629)
  • People with 2 vaccine shots: 264,122 (up from 246,431)
  • Positive cases: 476,292 (up from 475,379)
  • Deaths: 6,404 – 269 of which are "probable*" (up from 6,390)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 463,041 (up from 462,502)

* 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.

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