Minnesota reports 3,080 new COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths Tuesday

Minnesota health officials reported 3,080 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths Tuesday as the state is set to unveil its plan for rolling out the coronavirus vaccine. 

There have now been 359,203 cases of COVID-19 and 4,027 deaths attributed to the disease in Minnesota since the pandemic began, according to the latest state Department of Health data. 

The 3,080 newly reported cases were out of 27,432 completed tests—a positivity rate of 11.2%. The testing volume reported on Tuesdays is typically lower than other days of the week as fewer tests are administered on the weekends. Last Tuesday, MDH reported a similarly low testing volume of just under 23,000 tests. MDH has reported an average of 51,984 completed tests per day over the last week. 

Minnesota’s 7-day moving average positivity rate is 11.1%, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracking Project. A high positivity rate indicates the community may be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases. The World Health Organization says communities that have conducted extensive testing for COVID-19 should have a positivity rate of 5% or lower for at least 14 days. 

Twelve of the 22 deaths from COVID-19 reported on Tuesday were in the Twin Cities metro, while the rest were in Greater Minnesota. The people who died ranged in age from 55 to over 100 years old.

Fifteen of the of 22 deaths were in long-term care or assisted living facilities. To date, 71% of the people who died from COVID-19 in Minnesota lived in those types of facilities. 

The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations rose Tuesday for the first time since hitting its peak of 1,862 on Nov. 29. There are currently 1,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, up from 1,567 reported on Monday. Of those 1,604 patients, 359 are in the ICU. 

In the Twin Cities metro, ICU beds are 94.6% filled and non-ICU beds are at 97.1% capacity.  

Minnesota lowers some quarantine recommendations 

The Minnesota Department of Health adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new quarantine guidelines for COVID-19, allowing Minnesotans who are exposed to the coronavirus to shorten their quarantine period from two weeks to 10 or seven days in some cases. 

 State health officials announced the change on Monday, saying they hope it would allow more people to follow the guidelines and stay home. 

The two-week period can be shortened to seven days if a person gets a negative test, or 10 days without a test and without symptoms. But health care workers, congregate care facility workers, and people who are exposed the virus within their own home must continue to wait 14 days.

Walz to announce Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan 

Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials are expected to announce the Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan on Tuesday in a live speech at 1:30 p.m. FOX 9 will air the governor’s speech and following press conference live and streaming at fox9.com/live