Minnesota sees another day of improving COVID-19 numbers Friday

Minnesota saw another day of improving COVID-19 numbers Friday. The state Department of Health reported 2,737 new cases of COVID-19 and 65 additional deaths. 

The 2,737 newly reported cases were out high volume of 63,994 completed tests—a 4.3% positivity rate, the lowest it has been in weeks. The percentage of positive tests provides an indication of the rate of community transmission of COVID-19. A positivity rate over 5% indicates a high rate of community transmission and that there are likely more people in the community with the virus that have not been tested, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

There have now been 391,889 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state to date, 31,021 of which are currently active and require the infected person to be isolated.  

Twenty-five of the 65 deaths reported on Friday were in the Twin Cities metro, while the rest were in Greater Minnesota. The deaths included one Hennepin County resident in their 40s and two people in their 50s, one from Ramsey County and one from Anoka. 

Thirty-five of the newly reported deaths were in long-term care or assisted living facilities, one was in a group home or residential behavioral health facility and one was in a jail or prison. 

A total of 4,723 people in Minnesota have died from COVID-19. 

Deaths, which lag cases and hospitalizations, may finally be plateauing, although the state’s death rate remains high at an average of 62 deaths per day. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are now down 38% from their Nov. 29 peak.There are currently 1,144 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Minnesota, 270 of whom are in the ICU, according to the latest MDH data.