Deaths from COVID-19 are surging again in Minnesota. After 35 deaths were reported Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health, another 20 are included in Thursday's report.
The death toll for the duration of the pandemic is up to 2,301, the majority of whom (1,621) were people living in long-term care settings. Thirteen of the 20 newly reported deaths were residents of long-term care, and all 20 were at least 70 years old.
There were 1,574 positive tests reported, of which zero were removed for a total of 1,574 confirmed cases. The MDH reported 25,016 diagnostic PCR tests and an additional 610 antigen tests for a total of 25,626 completed tests.
Those tests were from 14,388 people tested. As if often the case, patients are tested multiple times, so the more accurate reading for test positivity rate is based on the total number of people tested, which today is 10.94%.
The positivity rate for Thursday when total cases is divided by total tests is 6.14%. Health experts say positivity rates need to be below the 5% mark to control the spread of the virus.
As of Oct. 21, there were 154 COVID-19 patients in an ICU in Minnesota, in addition to another 430 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a non-ICU bed. Overall, the state's total number of available ICU beds (1,898) are 55.9% filled (1,061 patients, of which 154 have COVID-19).
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Total tests: 2,587,268 (up from 2,560,520)
- People tested: 1,722,573 (up from 1,708,185)
- Positive cases: 128,152 (up from 126,591)
- Deaths: 2,301 – 12 of which are "probable*" (up from 2,281)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 113,976 (up from 113,158)
* 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.