A further 79 deaths from COVID-19 reported on Christmas Eve has brought the death toll in Minnesota above 5,000.
There have now been 5,050 deaths from the virus during the pandemic, but there is more encouraging news in Thursday's figures thanks to a further fall in the positivity rate.
December has now seen 1,457 deaths, which is the most of any month in Minnesota during the pandemic. There were fewer than 500 deaths in October before November's death toll skyrocketed to 1,136.
Long-term care deaths account for 64.8% (3,273) of the total, including 53 of the 79 reported Thursday.
Other than deaths, Minnesota's COVID-19 numbers are mostly declining. For perspective, consider that in mid-November Minnesota was reporting more than 50,000 active cases. There are now 23,134 active cases, according to the health department.
Through Dec. 23, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,048. This is down from the 1,060 hospitalized as of Tuesday.
Of those hospitalized, 238 were in intensive care, and 810 were receiving non-ICU treatment.
Testing and positivity rates
The 1,884 positive results in Thursday's update were from a total of 51,675 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 3.64%.
The World Health Organization recommended in May 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.
It's possible that these figures account for a rise in people getting tested ahead of the Christmas break.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers
- Total tests: 5,339,550 (up from 5,287,998)
- People tested: 2,903,339 (up from 2,889,650)
- Positive cases: 404,403 (up from 402,519)
- Deaths: 5,050 – 146 of which are "probable*" (up from 4,971)
- Active cases: 23,134 (up from 23,007)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 381,269 (up from 379,512)