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Minnesota reports 68 deaths in Friday's COVID-19 update

Nearly 700 people have died from COVID-19 in the first 20 days of November.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Minnesota continues to surge with the state health department on Friday reporting 68 more deaths. That's for shy of the single-day record 72 report Thursday. There were 67 deaths reported Wednesday for a three-day total of 207. 

November has been a very deadly month for COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 697 deaths reported in the first 20 days of the month. That's 22% of the state's total COVID-19 deaths – 3,150 – since the start of the pandemic. For more perspective, there were 423 fatal cases in all of October and 696 in May, which was previously the state's deadliest month of the pandemic. 

Of the 68 newly reported deaths, 44 were residents of long-term care facilities, who have accounted for 68% (2,159) of all COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota.

“It pains me beyond belief to know, with almost certainty, that each day I am going to stand in front of you and tell you that we have another record number of deaths,” Gov. Tim Walz said Thursday.

Hospitalizations

Through Nov. 19, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,784, which marks an all-time high. Of those hospitalized, 369 patients are in intensive care and 1,415 are receiving non-ICU treatment.

Note: Hospital totals are preliminary and are subject to adjustment in the days ahead.

Testing and positivity rates

The 6,812 positive results in Friday's update were from a total of 58,622 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 11.62%.

Those completed tests were from 27,167 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 25.1% today.

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.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Minnesota's percent positive over the past seven days is 14.52%.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 3,659,452 (up from 3,601,197)
  • People tested: 2,260,294 (up from 2,233,127)
  • Positive cases: 256,700 (up from 249,906)
  • Deaths: 3,150 – 57 of which are "probable*" (up from 3,082)
  • Active cases: 54,268 (up fro 51,541)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 202,432 (up from 198,365)

* 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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