Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 21

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Joe Nelson

Friday's COVID-19 update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes 11,828 newly reported cases and 36 newly reported deaths. The state's COVID-19 death toll is now 11,151.

Today's update includes case data that was reported in a 24-hour period ending at 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20. But due to the huge number of new cases being processed daily, the system has been overloaded and there are approximately 46,000 positive tests from the past 10 days waiting to be reviewed. Those cases will be added to the daily cases in due time.

"The daily cases reported figure has been an undercount of actual cases," an MDH official said Friday.

Since Dec. 30, MDH has received more than 212,000 positive cases that undergo processing to confirm the positive test. More than 46,000 are yet to be processed and in the event that they likely are confirmed, will be added to daily case counts in due time. The chart below shows the dates where the yet-to-be-processed (green) tests were taken.

On Wednesday, the Mayo Clinic held a press briefing in which it said it expects the reported cases to remain high before peaking as soon as next week. However, because reported cases lag what's happening in real time, the omicron wave may have already peaked in Minnesota.

Minnesota's test positivity rate on a 7-day rolling average (through Jan. 10) was 23.7%, which is another record high in Minnesota. Anything over 10% puts Minnesota in the high-risk threshold for community transmission of the coronavirus.


Through Jan. 19, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 1,571 – down from the 1,629 reported on Jan. 19. Of those hospitalized, 241 people are in intensive care (down from 247) and 1,330 are in non-ICU care (down from 1,382).

The most ICU patients during the duration of the pandemic was 399 on Dec. 1, 2020.

The latest hospital capacity data shows there are 34 staffed adult ICU beds available in the entire state – up from 31 on Jan. 19 – and 17 pediatric ICU beds available, which is up from 15 on Jan. 19.

Vaccine, booster stats

As of Jan. 18, the state reported that 3,813,784 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 3,573,445 people have completed the vaccine series. The state has administered 1,952,260 third doses/booster shots.

The percentage of Minnesota's population with at least one shot, based on age group:

  • 5-11: 36%
  • 12-15: 64%
  • 16-17: 67%
  • 18-49: 71%
  • 50-64: 80%
  • 65+: 97%
  • Total population: 68.6%

The percentage of Minnesota's population that have completed the vaccine series, based on age group:

  • 5-11: 28%
  • 12-15: 59%
  • 16-17: 63%
  • 18-49: 66%
  • 50-64: 77%
  • 65+: 93%
  • Total population: 64.3%

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 17,400,668 (up from 17,400,668)
  • People with at least 1 vaccine shot: 3,816,297 (up from 3,813,784)
  • People who have completed vaccine series: 3,575,871 (up from 3,573,445)
  • People who have had a booster/3rd shot: 1,962,781 (up from 1,952,260)
  • Positive cases: 1,216,734 (up from 1,204,929)
  • Reinfection cases: 34,134 (up from 34,134)
  • Deaths: 11,151 – 682 of which are "probable*" (up from 11,115)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 1,142,344 (up from 1,142,344)

* Probable deaths are patients who died after testing positive using the COVID-19 antigen test, which is thought to be less accurate than the more common PCR test.

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