Thursday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 44 deaths and just over 2,000 new cases. Among the deaths, two people were in their 40s, from Aitkin and Jackson counties, respectively.
There have now been 5,572 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which 64.1% (3,576) came from long-term care, including 23 of the 44 reported Thursday.
Minnesota has yet to confirm either of the mutant variants of the coronavirus that are circulating in Europe and South Africa. The variant found in Europe has however been confirmed in multiple U.S. states and Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that it is likely already spreading in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the state reported Thursday that 91,174 people have been vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The state has received and distributed 396,350 doses of vaccine, meaning there remains more than 305,000 doses yet to be administered.
Through Jan. 6, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 787, which is down from 817 reported on Wednesday.
Of those hospitalized, 135 (down from 140) were in intensive care, and 652 (down from 677) were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Statewide, there are 131 staffed ICU beds available. During the November surge the state had fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available.
Testing and positivity rates
The 2,004 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 42,049 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.7%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 6.89%, which is trending back up this week, though today's report will usher that not back down slightly when John's Hopkins updates the numbers Friday.
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: 5,803,829 (up from 5,762,307)
- People tested: 3,041,891 (up from 3,031,983)
- Positive cases: 429,570 (up from 427,587)
- Deaths: 5,572 – 191 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,528)
- Active cases: 15,488 (up from 15,149)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 408,510 (up from 406,910)
- Total people vaccinated: 91,174 (up from 81,167)
* 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.