Tuesday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 13 new deaths and more than 1,300 new cases.
The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 5,724 over the course of the pandemic, of which 64% (3,660) were residents of long-term care, including five of the 13 reported Monday.
Minnesota on Saturday evening confirmed the first five cases of the U.K.-based mutant variant of COVID-19, with residents in four Twin Cities counties testing positive for the B.1.1.7. variant after falling ill between Dec. 16-31.
No further cases of the new strain have been confirmed but health officials believe the variant is broadly circulating in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the state reported Tuesday that 144,503 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 7,392 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. 11, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 692, which is up from 686 reported Monday, though it's only slightly higher than the lowest number of COVID admissions reported since Oct. 28 (680).
Of those hospitalized, 135 (down from 141 reported Monday) were in intensive care, and 557 (up from 545) were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Statewide, there were 158 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 1,335 positive results in Tuesday's update were from a total of 29,315 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.55%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 6.85%, which is trending back after falling below 5% just over a week ago.
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: 5,982,456 (up from 5,953,863)
- People tested: 3,097,074 (up from 3,089,057)
- Positive cases: 438,867 (up from 437,552)
- Deaths: 5,724 – 203 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,711)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 418,610 (up from 417,005)
* 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.