MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The day after Gov. Tim Walz announced a rolling back of some of the restrictions on restaurants and gyms due to COVID-19, Minnesota Department of Health just released its latest daily case figures. They show there have been 2,004 more positive cases and another 44 deaths in the state due to the coronavirus, including two people in their 40s.

However, this also comes with another 42,049 completed tests, indicating a lower positivity rate than has been reported in recent days.

In all, 5,572 have died in Minnesota as a result of COVID since the start of the pandemic.

The MDH has also updated their dashboards reflecting the benchmarks needed to continue dialing back restrictions due to COVID-19, and they indicate that the average seven-day positivity rate is 6.6% as of Dec. 29, due to data lag. The state regards a positivity rate above 5% to be cause for caution, and above 10% to be high risk. The last time that figure was below 5% was in mid-September.

Most of the other figures on the Dial Back dashboard also indicate upticks in virtually every benchmark — from new cases per 100,000 residents (slightly up to about 26), new hospital admissions per 100,000 (now just under 15), and cases indicating community spread (still about as high as ever, at 36%).

Also, the number of tests per 10,000 residents has fallen to 340 per 100,000 residents, compared to a high of 785 at the end of November.

RELATED: Walz Announces Relaxed Regulations For Indoor Dining, 50% Capacity For Bars And Restaurants

Three million people have been tested for the virus so far in Minnesota. Of the 429,570 people who have been diagnosed with COVID, about 408,510 no longer need to isolate.

In hospitals as of Jan. 6, there are 135 patients with COVID-19 requiring an ICU bed, while 652 additional patients with COVID-19 require non-ICU beds, both of those numbers indicating downward trends. More than 22,000 people have needed hospitalization for the virus since the pandemic began.

Walz announced Wednesday that he’s relaxing COVID-19 restrictions for Minnesota bars and restaurants, which have been closed to indoor dining for the last six weeks. Loosened restrictions were also announced for movie theaters, gyms, places of worship, and small gatherings.

The new rules will allow bars and restaurants to reopen indoor dining at 50% capacity, or up to 150 people. Restaurant tables will be able to seat up to six people, and bars will be able to seat groups of two. Under the new rules, reservations will be required, and establishments must close by 10 p.m.

The new rules are slated to take effect Monday, when the governor’s current executive order banning indoor dining is set to expire.


According to MDH’s latest data, about 91,174 doses of the vaccine have been given so far in Minnesota: 74,191 of Pfizer vaccine and 16,935 of Moderna’s vaccine.

Notably, the administered numbers reflect only what MDH is in charge of, since some vaccines were given to other places to administer. Those numbers are not known at this time.