Minnesota surpassed 400,000 coronavirus infections Tuesday after the state Department of Health reported 1,714 new cases were diagnosed by diagnostic tests.
The state has now recorded 401,011 infections from nearly 5.3 million coronavirus tests — a test positivity rate of 7.6 percent. Of Minnesota’s 5.6 million residents about half, 2.88 million people, have been screened at least once for COVID-19.
Minnesota surpassed the 300,000 case threshold around Thanksgiving so it took less than one month for the state to add 100,000 infections.
That’s actually evidence of the state’s rate of new cases slowing. Minnesota added more than 100,000 cases in less than two weeks in November.
The state is also approaching 5,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The 24 deaths reported Tuesday pushed the death toll to 4,896 COVID-19 fatalities and there are 59 more deaths suspected to have been caused by the virus, but the person never had a positive test.
Those whose deaths were reported Tuesday ranged in age from their 50s to more than 100 years old. Sixteen lived in long-term care, six in private homes and two in group homes.
About 65 percent of Minnesota’s COVID-19 deaths, or 3,176 fatalities, have been residents of long-term care facilities.
Hospitalizations ticked up slightly Tuesday with 1,060 patients requiring hospital care including 228 in critical condition. That’s 20 more than the day before, but still significantly lower than the November peak when more than 1,850 were hospitalized.
The state Department of Health reports there are 148 intensive care beds and nearly 1,000 regular hospital beds available statewide. Just six of the state’s nearly 1,000 bed surge capacity is being used.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases per capita continues to decline and is now at 56 cases per 100,000 residents. Anything over 10 per 100,000 is considered high-risk and evidence the outbreak is not under control.
About 35 percent of new COVID-19 infections are due to community transmission without an obvious link to a known patient. Health officials would like to see community transmission rates below 20 percent.
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