A further 25 people have died in Minnesota and new cases have hit another record level in the latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.
There were 3,956 new cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday, 14 of which were removed for an official count of 3,942.
The update includes 25 more deaths, 17 of whom were residents of long-term care facilities. Long-term care deaths have accounted for 1,777 of the state's 2,555 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Testing and positivity rates
The MDH reported 31,793 diagnostic PCR tests and an additional 2,512 antigen tests for a total of 34,305 completed tests.
Those tests were from 20,948 people tested. People are often tested multiple times, so the more accurate reading for test positivity rate is based on the total number of people tested, which today's report is at 18.8%.
The positivity rate reported Wednesday, when total cases is divided by total tests, is 11.4%. Health experts say positivity rates need to be below the 5% mark to control the spread of the virus.
Through 4 p.m. Wednesday, the cutoff time for the data published Thursday by the health department, there were 216 people with COVID-19 in intensive care in Minnesota and 715 people with the disease in non-ICU hospital care.
That's a total of 931 hospitalized patients. Here's how the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased since Oct. 27.
- Oct. 27 – 658 people (hospitalized at the time of the report)
- Oct. 28 – 680
- Oct. 29 – 694
- Oct. 30 – 738
- Oct. 31 – 772
- Nov. 1 – 790
- Nov. 2 – 780
- Nov. 3 – 862
- Nov. 4 – 908
- Nov. 5 – 931
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz requested federal assistance to help with the pressure on the state's hospital system, with staffing shortages meaning many hospitals and ICU suites are nearing capacity.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 2,984,331 (up from 2,949,591)
- People tested: 1,940,560 (up from 1,919,612)
- Positive cases: 164,865 (up from 160,923)
- Deaths: 25 – 2,555 of which are "probable*" (up from 2,530)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 137,824 (up from 136,457)
* 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.