By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day before an update is expected on school plans for the fall, state health officials on Wednesday announced nine more COVID-19 deaths and 681 additional confirmed cases.

STATE HEALTH DATA: Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) Situation Update For COVID-19

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Meanwhile, the state nears 1 million completed tests (993,091), with about 13,500 processed over the last 24 hours.

Of those who completed tests, 52,947 total positive cases have been confirmed.

According to MDH, positive cases are defined as individual people who live in Minnesota who tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, MDH says people are only counted as a positive case once, even if they test positive multiple times.

So far, 46,636 of those patients have recovered and no longer need to self-isolate.

The state’s death toll now stands at 1,589, with 1,216 of those deaths occurring in long-term care (LTC) facilities, which have been impacted disproportionately during the pandemic. Seven of the nine new deaths involved someone in LTC facilities.

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There are also 40 “probable COVID-19 deaths”, which the MDH describes as being when COVID-19 is listed on the death certificate but a positive test was not documented for the deceased.

In hospitals, there are 310 patients currently needing treatment, with 143 of those being in intensive care units — up five from Tuesday. ICU visits are at the highest level in a month, but are well below numbers seen in late May, when 260 patients needed ICU units.

According to the state’s “Dial Back Dashboard”, Minnesota’s seven-day rolling positivity rate average remains at 5% as of July 20. If this positivity rate climbs to 15% or more than 5% over a two-week period, health officials will consider rolling back Minnesota’s reopening.

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Health officials continue to stress that the state’s COVID-19 data is preliminary and may change as cases are investigated.

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On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz is expected to deliver an update on how schools will look this fall during a pandemic.