Wednesday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 34 new deaths and more than 1,200 new cases.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 5,979 over the course of the pandemic, of which 63.7% (3,810) were residents of long-term care, including 20 of the 34 reported Wednesday.
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, through Jan. 17, the state reported that 200,840 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 38,521 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. 19, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 570. Of those hospitalized, 111 were in intensive care, and 459 were receiving non-ICU treatment.
The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.
Statewide, there were 152 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 1,237 positive results in Wednesday's update were from a total of 18,393 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 6.72%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.20%, 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: 6,206,196 (up from 6,188,091)
- People tested: 3,162,258 (up from 3,156,853)
- Positive cases: 449,492 (up from 448,268)
- Deaths: 5,979 – 223 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,945)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 432,738 (up from 431,096)
* 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.