See more of the story

Three COVID-19 deaths were reported by Minnesota health authorities on Thursday along with 995 infections with the novel coronavirus responsible for the pandemic.

The daily numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health bring totals in the pandemic since March to 1,988 deaths and 93,012 infections.

The state on Thursday also changed its reporting of a key measure of COVID-19 hospitalizations to reflect new admissions rather than daily counts of people in hospitals for treatment of the infectious disease. The state reported only two new admissions on Thursday, due to a lag in reporting from hospitals, but there has been a recent increase following a monthlong decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The state reached a seven-day average of 42 COVID-19 hospital admissions per day on Wednesday, compared to an average of 30 two weeks ago.

Health officials have expressed concerns that increases in lab-confirmed infections could eventually result in more hospitalizations and deaths. While many new infections have been found in young adults and teenagers, health officials are concerned that they could spread the virus to adults at greater risk for severe COVID-19 due to their advanced ages or other health problems.

The three deaths reported Thursday involved people 75 and older. People 70 and older make up less than 10% of known infections but more than 80% of COVID-19 deaths.

The total state tally of infections includes 83,862 people who have recovered to the point they are no longer considered infectious or required to isolate themselves.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm on Wednesday said the recent positivity rate of diagnostic testing is 4.6%, below the 5% threshold that suggests a concerning level of viral spread. However, she noted some regions of the state have positivity rates above 5%, reflected in part by some local school districts switching from in-person to online instruction due to new infections among students and staff.

Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744