The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota has risen to 1,526 after eight more deaths were reported Thursday in the Minnesota Department of Health's daily COVID-19 update.
The deaths included one person in their 60s, three in their 70s, two in their 80s, one in their 90s and one individual over the age of 100. Four of the fatal cases involved people from private residences and four were from long-term care facilities.
Six of the 611 positive tests in Thursday's report have been removed for an official tally of 605. Cases are removed for a variety of reasons, including patients being from another state and false-positive test results.
The positive cases are the result of 14,715 tests, creating a daily positive test rate of 4.1%. The positive test rates for each reporting period over the past 11 days are:
- July 6: 7.6%
- July 7: 10.2%
- July 8: 5.9%
- July 9: 4.6%
- July 10: 2.96%
- July 11: 5.00%
- July 12: 5.5%
- July 13: 3.5%
- July 14: 5.2%
- July 15: 4.4%
- July 16: 4.1%
The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5 percent is the key to keeping businesses open. Minnesota's seven-day rolling average, as of Wednesday, was 4.26%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
"If you go above 5% it indicates that you may be heading back into a phase of more rapid spread of the disease," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Tests: 805,212 (up from 790,497)
- Confirmed cases: 44,347 (up from 43,742)
- Deaths: 1,526 (up from 1,518)
- Still hospitalized: 249 (down from 254)
- Patients in intensive care: 103 (down from 106)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 38,290 (up from 38,179)
"We are likely going to see increases in our hospitalizations because of the ripple effect of our cases in our younger population," MDH's Kris Ehresmann said Monday. "We will likely see additional illness in other sectors and ages of the population."
There have been 40 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.