Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, July 15

The number of patients in the hospital increased by 18 in the latest report.

Eight more deaths were reported Wednesday in the Minnesota Department of Health's daily COVID-19 update, bringing the statewide death toll during the pandemic to 1,518.

The deaths included a person in their 40s from Hennepin County and an individual in their 50s in Nicollet County, while the other six included two people in their 60s and one each in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100+, respectively. 

Six of the 578 positive tests in Wednesday's report have been removed for an official tally of 572. Cases are removed for a variety of reasons, including patients being from another state and false-positive test results.

The positive cases are the result of 12,883 tests, creating a daily positive test rate of 4.4%. The positive test rates for each reporting period over the past 10 days are:

  • July 6: 7.6%
  • July 7: 10.2%
  • July 8: 5.9%
  • July 9: 4.6%
  • July 10: 2.96%
  • July 11: 5.00%
  • July 12: 5.5%
  • July 13: 3.5%
  • July 14: 5.2%
  • July 15: 4.4%

The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5 percent is the key to keeping businesses open. Minnesota's seven-day rolling average, as of Monday, was 4.31%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"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:

  • Tests: 790,497 (up from 777,614)
  • Confirmed cases: 43,742 (up from 43,170)
  • Deaths: 1,510 (up from 1,510)
  • Still hospitalized: 254 (up from 236)
  • Patients in intensive care: 106 (down from 107)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 38,179 (up from 37,749)

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has jumped from 236 Tuesday to 254 Wednesday, though the number of patients in intensive care dropped from 107 to 106. 

"We are likely going to see increases in our hospitalizations because of the ripple effect of our cases in our younger population," MDH's Kris Ehresmann said Monday. "We will likely see additional illness in other sectors and ages of the population."

There have been 40 patients (an increase of two) deemed to have "probably" died from COVID-19, though that total isn't included in the aforementioned death toll. Those cases represent victims who never received a COVID-19 test, but for whom doctors believe within a reasonable degree of certainty that the virus caused their death.

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