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Jan. 4 COVID-19 update: More than 3,000 new cases; vaccine distribution update

The more than 3,000 new cases are reported on a day where just under 10,000 tests were reported.

Monday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 13 deaths and more than 3,000 new cases.

There have now been 5,443 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which (64.4%) (3,506) came from long-term care, including 7 of the 13 reported Monday.

Minnesota has yet to confirm the new variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in Europe, in addition to being confirmed in parts of the U.S. in recent days. 

Meanwhile, vaccination is happening in Minnesota. The state reported Monday that 78,402 people have been vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through Jan. 2, which is an increase from the 57,017 people to have received the vaccine through Dec. 27. 

The state, through Dec. 30, had received 297,350 doses of vaccine, so there remain at least nearly 220,000 doses yet to be administered. 

Hospitalizations

Through Jan. 3, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 810. It marks the lowest number of COVID hospitalizations in the state since reported 774 hospitalizations on Nov. 2. 

Of those hospitalized, 156 (down from 196 Dec. 30) were in intensive care, and 654 (down from 699 Dec. 30) were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Testing and positivity rates

The 3,148 positive results in Monday's update were from a total of 9,991 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 31.5%. It is far and away the highest single-day test positivity rate in weeks for Minnesota, though it's unclear if the number of positive results are being reported in delayed fashion due to the holidays. 

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.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 5.56%, with Minnesota no longer one of the states with a 7-day positive rate below 5%, having achieved that mark for a few days last week. However, Minnesota has one of the lowest positivity rates over the past seven days. 

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 5,723,166 (up from 5,713,240)
  • People tested: 3,020,132 (up from 3,017,309)
  • Positive cases: 423,688 (up from 420,544)
  • Deaths: 5,443 – 184 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,430)
  • Active cases: 12,689 (up from 11,695)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 405,556 (up from 403,419)
  • Total people vaccinated: 57,017 (no change from 57,017)

* 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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