Thursday's COVID-19 situation report from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that nearly 600 more patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the latest reporting period, which began Tuesday at 4 p.m. and ended Wednesday at 4 p.m.
The report includes five more deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus in Minnesota to 1,490. All five newly reported deaths were patients in their 80s or 90s.
Fifteen of the 589 positive tests have been removed for an official tally of 574. Cases are removed for a variety of reasons, including patients being from another state and false positive test results.
The 574 positives came from 12,470 tests, creating a daily positive test rate of 4.6%, which comes after three consecutive days of positive test rates between 5.9% and 10.2%, though MDH infectious disease expert Kris Ehresmann speculated Wednesday that the higher test rates may be attributable to targeted testing in areas where the virus is known to be circulating.
The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5% is the key to keeping businesses open. Minnesota's 7-day rolling average is just under 4%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Tests: 705,440 (up from 692,970)
- Confirmed cases: 40,163 (up from 39,589)
- Deaths: 1,490 (up from 1,485)
- Still hospitalized: 261 (down from 265)
- Patients in intensive care: 116 (down from 122)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 35,193 (up from 34,902)
There have been 38 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.