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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 20

The test positivity rate continues to climb.

Minnesota has reported seven more deaths from COVID-19 and more than 1,000 cases in Tuesday's update from the Department of Health (MDH). 

Six of the seven newly reported deaths were patients aged in their 80s or 90s, though one person from Stearns County was in their 50s. 

There were 1,120 positive tests reported, of which 28 were removed for a total of 1,092 confirmed cases. The MDH reported 13,852 diagnostic PCR tests and an additional 51 antigen tests for a total of 13,903 completed tests.

Those tests were from 5,684 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 19.2%.

The positivity rate when total cases is divided by total tests is 7.85%. Health experts say positivity rates need to be below the 5% mark to control the spread of the virus.

The seven newly reported deaths pushes Minnesota's COVID-19 death toll to 2,246, of which 1,583 have been residents of long-term care facilities. Five of the seven newly reported fatal cases were residents of long-term care. 

As of Oct. 19, there were 155 COVID-19 patients in an ICU in Minnesota, in addition to another 412 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a non-ICU bed. Overall, the state's total number of available ICU beds (1,904) are 54% filled (1,035 patients, of which 155 have COVID-19). 

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:

  • Total tests: 2,543,648 (up from 2,531,998)
  • People tested: 1,699,949 (up from 1,694,265)
  • Positive cases: 125,531 (up from 124,439)
  • Deaths: 2,246, eleven of which are "probable*" (up from 2,239)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 111,634 (up from 109,963)

* 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.

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