Saturday’s COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 37 new deaths and more than 1,400 new cases.
The newly reported deaths reached a total of 5,887 for the state during the pandemic, of which (63.8%) (3,756) were residents of long-term care, including 22 of the 37 reported on Saturday.
Minnesota last Saturday confirmed the first five cases of a UK-based mutant variant of COVID-19, with residents in four twin cities tested positive for B.1.1.7. option after illness between 16-31 December.
No additional cases of the new strain have been confirmed, but health officials believe the option is widespread in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the state said that by January 13, 174,110 people had received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 32,131 people had received both doses of vaccine needed for the full effect of the vaccines.
The health department has released a public billboard to track the spread of vaccines in Minnesota and you can see it here.
Hospitalization data are not updated on weekends.
As of Jan. 14, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 612, the lowest number of COVIDs admitted since Oct. 25 (584).
Of the hospitalized 125 (compared to 131 the previous day) were in intensive care and 487 (compared to 514) were treated outside the intensive care unit.
There were 148 intensive care beds throughout the country. During the November wave, the state had less than 100 beds in the intensive care unit. The number of available beds depends on the number of available staff, so the total values are constantly changing.
Degree of testing and positivity
The 1485 positive results in Saturday’s update are from a total of 30,774 completed tests, creating a daily test positivity rate of 4.82%.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the test rate in Minnesota over the past seven days is 5.52%.
The World Health Organization recommends a positive percentage (total positive values divided by the total number of completed tests) below 5% for at least two weeks to open the economy safely. This threshold of 5% is based on the overall positive results divided by the overall tests.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by numbers
- Total tests: 6,121,001 (from 6,090,114)
- Tested people: 3,134,557 (compared to 3,124,903)
- Positive cases: 445 047 (up from 443 562)
- Death cases: 5887 – 214 of which are “probable” (out of 5850)
- Patients who no longer need isolation: 425 253 (from 422 289)
* Probable deaths are patients who die after a positive test using the COVID-19 antigen test, which is considered less accurate than the more common PCR test.