Wednesday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) includes 18 new deaths and 851 new cases.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 6,124 over the course of the pandemic. Of those deaths, 63.4% (3,887) were residents of long-term care, including 10 of the 18 reported Wednesday.
Through Jan. 25, the state reported that 301,290 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 73,304 people have completed both doses of vaccine that are required for the vaccines' full effect. MDH has a public dashboard to track vaccine progress in Minnesota, and you can view it here.
Two new variants of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Minnesota, including the first known case of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States. That case involves a Minnesotan who recently traveled to Brazil. There are 8 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. Both new strains are believed to be more transmissible.
Through Jan. 26. the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 477. Of those hospitalized, 97 were in intensive care, and 380 were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Statewide, there were 155 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 851 positive results in Wednesday's update were from a total of 20,899 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.07%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 4.44%, 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: 6,420,268 (up from 6,399,553)
- People tested: 3,220,489 (up from 3,214,791)
- Positive cases: 457,317 (up from 456,490)
- Deaths: 6,124 – 242 of which are "probable*" (up from 6,106)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 441,740 (up from 440,596)
* 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.