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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, August 18

Hospitalizations have bounced up and down between 285 and 340 since late July.

The COVID-19 death toll in Minnesota is up to 1,721 after nine more deaths were reported in Tuesday's update from the Department of Health (MDH). 

Seven of the nine patients who succumbed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus were residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities, which have been hard-hit in the five-plus months that the virus has been known to be circulating in Minnesota. 

Eight of the nine newly reported deaths were patients ages 60-99. The one patient under 60 was an individual in their 50s from Scott County. 

Overall, 1,287 of Minnesota's 1,721 COVID-19 deaths have been residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities, whom the CDC says are more vulnerable to severe illness from the virus.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped from 286 Monday to 304 Tuesday, though the number of ICU patients dropped from 155 to 154.

Tuesday's update includes 359 new cases of the coronavirus, 14 of which have been removed for an official count of 345. Those positive cases are the result of 7,402 diagnostic tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.62%.

Minnesota's test positivity rate – based on positive results divided by total number of tests – over a 7-day rolling average, based on MDH data, as of Tuesday, is 4.37%. Note: Due to reporting delays and changes, daily testing totals are subject to change.

"If you go above 5 percent it indicates that you may be heading back into a phase of more rapid spread of the disease," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:

  • Tests: 1,273,397 (up from 1,266,561)
  • Positive cases: 66,061 (up from 65,716)
  • Deaths: 1,721 (up from 1,712)
  • Currently hospitalized: 304 (up from 286)
  • Patients in intensive care: 154 (down from 155)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 59,568 (up from 58,859)

There have also been 46 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the "probable" cause, though it's not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.

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