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Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.
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Friday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 33 new deaths and more than 1,600 new cases.

The newly reported deaths bring the state's total to 5,850 over the course of the pandemic, of which 63.8% (3,734) were residents of long-term care, including 18 of the 33 reported Friday.

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 Thursday that, through Jan. 12, 162,040 people have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 24,745 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.

Hospitalizations

Through Jan. 14, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 612, which is the lowest number of COVID admissions reported since Oct. 25 (584).

Of those hospitalized, 125 (up from 131 the day before) were in intensive care, and 487 (down from 514) were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Statewide, there were 148 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 1,640 positive results in Friday's update were from a total of 46,861 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 3.5%.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.79%.

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: 6,090,114 (up from 6,043,802)
  • People tested: 3,124,903 (up from 3,112,884)
  • Positive cases: 443,562 (up from 441,935)
  • Deaths: 5,850 – 213 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,817)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 422,289 (up from 420,919)

* 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.

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