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

The newest data from the health department.

Thursday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) includes 1,505 new cases and six new deaths.

The newly reported deaths brings the state's total to 6,762 over the course of the pandemic. Of the total deaths, 63% (4,244) were residents of long-term care.

Through Mar. 16, the state reported that 1,303,210 people have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 764,275 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.

Hospitalizations

Through Mar. 17, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 297, which is up from 282 reported Tuesday.

Of those hospitalized, 74 were in intensive care (up from 67) and 223 were receiving non-ICU treatment (up from 215).

Testing and positivity rates

The 1,505 positive results in Thursday's update were from 42,954 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 3.5%

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 4.45%.

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: 7,847,879 (up from 7,805,641)
  • People tested: 3,577,071 (up from 3,565,769)
  • People with at least 1 vaccine shot: 1,303,210 (up from 1,284,612)
  • People with 2 vaccine shots: 764,275 (up from 746,829)
  • Positive cases: 501,458 (up from 499,962)
  • Deaths: 6,762 – 369 of which are "probable*" (up from 6,756)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 485,358 (up from 484,819)

* 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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