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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - On the same day Minnesota health officials reported the second-highest daily count of coronavirus related deaths, there were also some encouraging statistics.

77 additional COVID-19 deaths were reported statewide today and the grim tally includes two residents of Olmsted County. One of the deceased was in their early 70s and the other was in their early 90s. There have now been 36 coronavirus related deaths in Minnesota since the beginning of the pandemic.

Among the more encouraging statistics reported today was a significant drop in the number of Minnesotans currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. The overall total reported by the state health department was 1350 which was over 100 below the count from the previous day. 354 of those patients were in intensive care units, down from a peak of almost 395.

Olmsted County Public Health issued its weekly COVID activity update and it shows the number of new infections last week was down for a third consecutive week. The total was 685. The count from the previous week was 725, while the highest weekly count of the pandemic was 843 during the first week in November. The report also shows the testing positivity rate in Olmsted County dropped back below 10-percent last week.

Statewide today, the Minnesota Department of Health reported almost 5200 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 infections, including 121 new cases in Olmsted County. The daily testing positivity rate for the entire state was about 13.7-percent.

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