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Nov. 21 COVID-19 update: 51 more deaths as November surge continues

Nearly 750 people have died this month in Minnesota from COVID-19.

Minnesota's death toll has reached 3,201 after a further 51 fatal cases from COVID-19 were reported Saturday by the state health department, in addition to more than 6,200 new laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

November has been a very deadly month for COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 748 deaths reported in the first 21 days of the month. That's 23% of the state's total COVID-19 deaths – 3,201 – since the start of the pandemic. For 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 51 newly reported deaths, 31 were residents of long-term care facilities, who have accounted for 68% (2,192) 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

Hospital admissions are not updated on weekends, so the next update will be provided Monday. 

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 6,265 positive results in Saturday's update were from a total of 52,025 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 12.04%.

Those completed tests were from 17,686 people. People are often tested more than once, so the test positivity rate when dividing positives by people tested is 35.42% 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: 3,712,110 (up from 3,659,452)
  • People tested: 2,277,980 (up from 2,260,294)
  • Positive cases: 262,952 (up from 256,700)
  • Deaths: 3,201 – 60 of which are "probable*" (up from 3,150)
  • Active cases: 54,268 (up fro 54,268)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 211,513 (up from 202,432)

* 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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