ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – The Minnesota Department of Health is changing the way it reports hospitalization numbers surrounding COVID-19.

Infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann says they will now put the focus on total hospitalizations, not the number of people in the hospital on a given day.

“In order to best understand the severity of the disease, we want to look at the proportion of cases admitted to the hospital,” said Ehresmann. “This is more useful than the number of people who are in the hospital at any given time.”

So far, since M-D-H started collecting data in late January, more than 92-percent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have NOT required a hospital stay.

Ehresmann says presenting daily current hospitalizations proved to be highly time and labor-intensive for M-D-H and hospital staff.