ST. PAUL — Another 40 Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, state health officials announced Sunday, Nov. 22.
The Minnesota Department of Health also announced another 7,219 coronavirus cases Sunday as infection rates and death rates continue to hit new highs for the month.
With a week left in the month, November has already surpassed May for the deadliest month of the pandemic in Minnesota, with 784 deaths so far this month. In May, 696 Minnesotans died due to the virus.
The latest deaths bring the pandemic’s toll to 3,241 statewide since the first cases were confirmed in March.
Of the 40 deaths, 22 people were residents of long-term care facilities. Ages of the people who died ranged from a person in their 30s who lived in Wright County to a centenarian who lived in Ramsey County.
Statewide, 20 residents in the Twin Cities metro area died of the virus; three people were from St. Louis County; two deaths were reported from Clay, Douglas and Winona counties; and Aitkin, Benton, Isanti, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Morrison, Rice, Stearns, Stevens, Wright, Yellow Medicine counties each reported one death.
The new cases came from a high volume of testing, with MDH reporting more than 56,600 tests completed. However, the test positivity rate has remained high, with a test positivity rate of about 14% over the past week. Statewide community spread — meaning cases that aren’t tied to other cases or outbreaks — is at about 33%.
The spike in cases continues to tax hospitals across the state. State officials reported Thursday that 1,142 of the state’s approximately 1,440 ICU beds are full. Since March, 14,929 people have been hospitalized for the virus.