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Minnesota positive COVID test rate continues drop

While there are encouraging signs that the worst of omicron is over, hospitalizations remain high.

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ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday, Jan. 27, reported a continued drop in the state's positive COVID-19 test rate, though the number of hospitalizations has yet to decline as a surge of infections appears to ebb.

Thursday's report showed a positive test rate of 22.7%, down from a pandemic high earlier this month of 23.7%. While the positive test rate remains at a level never seen before the current wave of infections, it has now dropped for three days straight after plateauing earlier this month.

There are other signs the wave is on the decline. Twin Cities sewage water data analysis from the Metropolitan Council and a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the state health department indicated the present wave of infections driven by the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is on the decline in the state's largest metro. The Mayo Clinic on a Wednesday, Jan. 26, media call said the wave was on its way out after peaking at 300 cases per 100,000 residents in Minnesota. At the peak, it's estimated that 5% of the state's population of 5.7 million people was infected at the same time.

While there are encouraging signs that the worst of omicron is over, hospitalizations remain high. Thursday's report showed more than 1,500 in the hospital for COVID-19, and the number has remained at that level for much of the month. Overall intensive care unit bed occupancy appears to be dropping, however. Statewide, 95% of ICU beds were in use, down from the 97-98% typical over the past month. There were 230 people in an ICU for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, though in December that number was in the high 300s.

Following are the MDH COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Thursday. Because all data are preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

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Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 14,633
  • SEVEN-DAY, ROLLING AVERAGE OF NEW CASES PER 100,000 PEOPLE: 216 (as of 1/16)
  • TOTAL CASES, INCLUDING REINFECTIONS: 1,295,117
  • TOTAL REINFECTIONS: 45,094
  • SEVEN-DAY, ROLLING AVERAGE TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 22.7% (as of 1/16)

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 1,543
  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 56,324
  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 57
  • TOTAL DEATHS: 11,339

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 3,830,360 or 73.5% of ages 5 and up
  • COMPLETED SERIES (2 doses): 3,587,482 or 68.8% of ages 5 and up
  • BOOSTER DOSES ADMINISTERED: 2,009,665
Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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