Tuesday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes six new deaths and fewer than 1,000 new cases.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 5,945 over the course of the pandemic, of which 63.7% (3,790) were residents of long-term care, including four of the six reported Tuesday.
The B.1.1.7. variant of coronavirus that was first discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in Minnesota, with health officials so far confirming five cases of the variant in the Twin Cities metro area, but none have been confirmed in the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, the state reported that, through Jan. 16, 200,130 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 38,258 people have completed both doses of vaccine that are required for the vaccines' full effect.
The health department has launched a public dashboard to track vaccine distribution throughout Minnesota, and you can view it here.
Through Jan. 18, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 584, which is the lowest number of COVID admissions reported since Oct. 25 (584).
Of those hospitalized, 110 were in intensive care, and 474 were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Statewide, there were 174 staffed ICU beds available. During the November surge the state had fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available. The number of available beds is dependent on the number of available staff, so the totals are constantly changing.
Testing and positivity rates
The 922 positive results in Tuesday's update were from a total of 14,467 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 6.37%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.00%, making it one of the lowest rates in the country.
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: 6,188,091 (up from 6,173,664)
- People tested: 3,156,853 (up from 3,152,124)
- Positive cases: 448,268 (up from 447,349)
- Deaths: 5,945 – 219 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,939)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 431,096 (up from 429,325)
* 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.