Minnesota reports 6,353 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths Monday

Minnesota health officials reported 6,353 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional deaths Monday as the state continues to show signs the disease's peak may be slowing. 

Minnesota has now seen a total of 276,500 cases of COVID-19 and 3,265 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data. 

“At our current pace, we will eclipse 300,000 cases this week—right around Thanksgiving," MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Monday. "We could see another 100,000 cases in 15 days."

Ehresmann said health officials hope the four-week dial-back measures that went into effect over the weekend will "help delay these milestones." 

The 6,353 newly reported cases were out of 57,015 completed tests—a positivity rate of 11.1%. The key metric, Minnesota’s 7-day rolling average test positivity rate is 15.2%, up from 13.7% the week prior, although it is a lagging indicator, Ehresmann said. The World Health Organization says a positivity rate above 5% indicates a community may be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases. 

The 24 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Monday are down from the average of 48 deaths per day Minnesota reported over the last week.

Nine of the deaths were in the Twin Cities metro while the other 15 were in Greater Minnesota. The deaths include three people in their 50s. The remainder of the deaths were people 60 or older. 

Of the 24 people who died, eight were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. To date, approximately 71% of people who have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota have been residents of those types of facilities. 

Hospitalizations are continuing to spike in Minnesota. There are currently 1,778 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, 364 of whom are in the ICU, according to Ehresmann. 

The daily number of people being admitted into Minnesota hospitals has been higher in November than it has been at any point in the pandemic so far. Last week, MDH reported nearly 78% of available ICU beds were filled. 

Hospitals are also reporting staff shortages as staff members are forced to quarantine after getting sick with or exposed to COVID-19 from the community. 

Minnesota has seen a 90% increase in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, according to NBC News’ COVID-19 tracker. St. Cloud is seventh in the nation for metro areas with the greatest number of new cases, relative to their population, over the last two weeks, according to the New York Times.