COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped Thursday to the lowest total in Minnesota since late July, but it comes along with a daily report from the state health department (MDH) that includes more than 1,000 new confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
There are also seven newly reported deaths. Of Minnesota's 1,837 confirmed COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic, 1,348 have been residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities, per MDH data. The newly reported deaths Thursday includes one patient each in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, respectively, and three people aged in their 90s.
Thursday's update includes 1,047 new positive tests for the coronavirus, nine of which have been removed for an official count of 1,038 new cases. Those positive cases are the result of 7,534 people tested, creating a 24-hour reporting period test positivity rate of 13.78%.
The positive test rate is lower from the perspective when the number of individuals producing positive tests (1,038) divided by total completed tests (13,926). In that case, the positivity rate is 7.45%.
The "tests completed" number is always higher than the "people tested" metric because some people get tested multiple times and those who test positive are only counted once, so it produces a less accurate positivity rate.
The test positivity rate over a 7-day average, based on total number of people tested, according to Johns Hopkins University, was 8.15% as of Wednesday. Anything over 5% can indicate more aggressive community transmission, MDH officials say.
Hospitalized patients dropped from 297 in Wednesday's report to 272 Thursday, though the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU increased from 135 to 138.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Total tests: 1,540,107 (up from 1,525,555)
- People tested: 1,158,388 (up from 1,150,854)
- Positive cases: 78,123 (up from 77,085)
- Deaths: 1,837 (up from 1,830)
- Currently hospitalized: 272 (down from 297)
- Patients in intensive care: 138 (up from 135)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 70,175 (up from 69,521)
There have also been 52 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the "probable" cause, though it's not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.