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Jan. 6 COVID-19 update: Minnesota passes 5,500 deaths; positivity rate inching up

The state reported an additional 67 deaths on Wednesday.

Wednesday's COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 67 deaths and more than 2,300 new cases. 

There have now been 5,528 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, of which 64.2% (3,553) came from long-term care, including 40 of the 67 reported Wednesday.

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 in recent days.

Meanwhile, vaccination is happening in Minnesota. The state reported Tuesday that 81,167 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 315,000 doses yet to be administered. 

Hospitalizations

Through Jan. 5, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 817, which is down from 842 reported on Tuesday.

Of those hospitalized, 140 (down from 155) were in intensive care, and 677 (down from 688) were receiving non-ICU treatment.

Statewide, there are 147 staffed ICU beds available. During the November surge the state had fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available.

Testing and positivity rates

The 2,346 positive results in Wednesday's update were from a total of 23,880 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 9.8%.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's test positivity rate over the past seven days is 6.71%, which is trending back up this week. 

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: 5,762,307 (up from 5,738,713)
  • People tested: 3,031,983 (up from 3,024,296)
  • Positive cases: 427,587 (up from 425,261)
  • Deaths: 5,528 – 188 of which are "probable*" (up from 5,461)
  • Active cases: 15,149 (up from 13,133)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 406,910 (up from 406,667)
  • Total people vaccinated: 80,857 (up from 80,857)

* 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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