MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota health officials reported two days worth of COVID data on Saturday, adding 9,040 cases and 45 deaths to the state’s tally. In observation of the holiday, numbers from Thanksgiving had not been previously reported, which is why the Minnesota Department of Health released Thursday and Friday’s data collectively on Saturday.
The new data brings the state’s death toll to 3,521, with 2,378 taking place in long-term care.
Total cases in the state are now at 304,023, though 257,485 who have contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine.
According to state health data, there were 1,785 people in Minnesota hospitals as of Thursday, with 386 in the ICU. Approximately 80% of the state’s ICU beds are currently in use.
The state’s health system continues to strain as more and more COVID-19 patients are admitted for treatment. Due to COVID cases and related quarantines, hospital systems throughout the state are operating without hundreds of staff members.
However, according to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has decreased from its highest point of 15.4% on Nov. 11 down to 13.8% on Nov. 17, which is the most recent data point due to data lag. A status above the 10% mark is considered “high risk”
There were also 109,566 tests processed over the past two days; since March, over 4 million tests have been administered to over 2.4 million Minnesotans.
On Wednesday, a record 101 people died of COVID in the state. Though the number was staggering, doctors warned the death toll could get much higher.
“I think we expected to see the rise in deaths based upon what the month of November has brought us with numbers of new cases,” said Dr. Mark Sannes with Park Nicollet Health Services.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the record deaths was a “sad development,” but not a surprise. Malcolm said that public activity is more risky than it was even a few weeks ago, and the best way to slow the spread of the virus is to just stay home.
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