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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

Thursday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 32 new deaths and just under 1,300 new cases.

The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 6,011 over the course of the pandemic, marking the 22nd U.S. state to surpass 6,000. Of those deaths, 63.6% (3,825) were residents of long-term care, including 15 of the 32 reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, through Jan. 18, the state reported that 203,839 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 41,984 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.

The B.1.1.7. variant of coronavirus that was first discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in Minnesota, with health officials so far confirming five cases of the variant in the Twin Cities metro area, but none have been confirmed in the last two weeks.

Hospitalizations

Through Jan. 20, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 558. Of those hospitalized, 98 were in intensive care, and 460 were receiving non-ICU treatment.

The 98 ICU patients marks the first time since Sept. 21 that Minnesota has had under 100 COVID patients in intensive care. 

Statewide, there were 163 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 1,292 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 41,333 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 3.12%.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.18%, 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: 6,247,442 (up from 6,206,196)
  • People tested: 3,170,947 (up from 3,162,258)
  • Positive cases: 450,762 (up from 449,492)
  • Deaths: 6,011 – 226 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,979)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 433,722 (up from 432,738)

* 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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