The Minnesota Department of Health reported 14 new deaths in Wednesday's COVID-19 update. It's the second time in the past eight days that there have been double-digit deaths reported in a single day, after just two such occurrences from July 1 through Aug. 18.
Nine of the 14 newly reported deaths were individuals from long-term care or assisted-living facilities. Of Minnesota's 1,793 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, 1,325 patients were from congregate care settings, which are home to older populations who are at a greater risk of severe illness from the disease.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped from 312 Tuesday to 304 Wednesday, with the ICU total moving down from 137 to 134.
Wednesday's update includes 542 new positive tests for the coronavirus, 13 of which have been removed for an official count of 529 new cases. Those positive cases are the result of 6,521 people tested, creating a 24-hour reporting period test positivity rate of 8.11%.
The positive test rate is lower from the perspective when the number of individuals producing positive tests (529) divided by total completed tests (11,021). In that case, the positivity rate is 4.80%.
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 6.71% as of Tuesday.
"If you go above 5% 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:
- Total tests: 1,406,007 (up from 1,394,986)
- People tested: 1,079,047 (up from 1,072,526)
- Positive cases: 71,236 (up from 70,707)
- Deaths: 1,793 (up from 1,779)
- Currently hospitalized: 304 (down from 312)
- Patients in intensive care: 134 (down from 137)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 64,374 (up from 63,725)
There have also been 49 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the "probable" cause, though it's not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.
Note from the MDH: "Starting 8/22, a few hospitals are not reporting hospitalized or ICU status on Saturdays or Sundays. The weekend numbers for current hospitalization and ICU status will include numbers from Friday for these hospitals and are considered estimates of current hospitalizations."