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Live updates: Nearly 3,000 new cases; 27 deaths

Here is the latest data on Minnesota's battle against COVID-19, and the effort to vaccinate every state resident against the virus.

ST PAUL, Minn — Friday, Sept. 24

  • 27 new deaths, nearly 3,000 new cases, 752 COVID hospitalizations
  • State ready to begin administering Pfizer booster shots
  • 95 Minnesota schools with 5 or more confirmed COVID cases
  • State expands hours, daily doses at MOA community vaccination clinic
  • MN poll shows support for masks in schools, mixed views on vaccine mandates

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters Friday that the nearly 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the last day was something she doesn't want to see again.

Malcolm and MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann held a Friday afternoon media briefing call to update the COVID situation in Minnesota.

Commissioner Malcolm said the wave of new cases is impacting healthcare workers, educators, students and families. She said the best thing we can do to help is doing our part in reducing the spread of the virus.

"We continue to have grave concerns about the impact of this latest wave on our hospitals, long-term care and health systems. both in terms of their capacity for whole range of care, for any conditions, not just COVID," Malcolm shared. 

Earlier, officials reported 2,997 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, with an additional 27 people dying from the virus.

The cumulative number of cases in the state is closing in on 700,000, with the total now at 697,182.

Malcolm says getting vaccinated remains the best defense against COVID, and announced that Minnesota is ready to begin giving boosters of the Pfizer vaccine.  

MDH also reported 27 new deaths from the virus on Friday, bringing the death total to 8,076 since the pandemic began. One of those new fatalities includes a person between 25 and 29 in Hennepin County, and five of those newly confirmed deaths happened earlier in the year, according to MDH.

Health officials say 4,620 deaths have taken place in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

According to MDH's latest data available, 752 people are being treated for COVID in hospitals around the state, with 539 in non-ICU beds and 213 in the ICU.

Total hospitalizations since the arrival of COVID have risen to 37,451. 

MDH reported 6,379,025 total doses of vaccine have been administered in the state, with 3,386,985 people age 16 and older having received at least one shot (73.1%). Of that number 3,213,208 people have completed their COVID series and are considered completely vaccinated (69.6%).

Thursday, Sept. 23

1 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health updated its list of schools in the state that have reported five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff during a two week-reporting period from Sept. 5 through Sept. 18. Officials say 95 school buildings now fall under this category. 

The list includes 22 schools in Hennepin County; 8 in Carver County; 6 each in Dakota and Scott Counties; 5 in Anoka County; 3 in Ramsey County and 2 in Washington County.

In total, 777 school buildings across Minnesota reported having at least one COVID case. 

MDH also reports that two school staffers died from COVID in this most recent reporting period.

State health officials have been expressing concern for weeks that in-person learning would be a hard environment to control when it comes to COVID, as children under the age of 12 are not currently eligible to be vaccinated. A number of districts across the state also do not require students and staffs to mask.  

11 a.m.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 24 new deaths from COVID-19 in the state, with an additional 2,434 cases of the virus.

The cumulative total cases in the state is now at 694,320 since the start of the pandemic. MDH says the additional 24 deaths brings Minnesota's total to 8,049 since the pandemic began. One of the deaths reported Thursday involves a person in their mid-to-late 40s from Nicollet County. 

Health officials say 4,612 of those deaths have taken place in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

According to MDH's latest data available, 777 people are being treated for COVID in hospitals around the state, with 563 in non-ICU beds and 214 in the ICU.

Total hospitalizations since the arrival of COVID have risen to 37,344. 

MDH reported 6,372,358 total doses of vaccine have been administered in the state, with 3,384,566 people age 16 and older having received at least one shot (73.1%). Of that number 3,209,993 people have completed their COVID series and are considered completely vaccinated (69.5%).

Wednesday, Sept. 22

COVID-related hospitalizations remain high across the state of Minnesota, according to the most recent data released by health officials. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 794 people were being treated for the virus on an inpatient basis as of Tuesday, with 214 of those patients showing symptoms serious enough to require ICU care. Hospital beds are especially scarce across the Twin Cities metro system, with just 7 ICU beds (1.1% of total) and 29 non-ICU beds (0.8% total) open for patients. 

MDH says 1,642 new infections were recorded over the past day, bringing the state total to 692,029 since the onset of the COVID pandemic. The new cases are based on results from 33,541 tests (24,957 PCR, 8,584 antigen) processed in private and state labs. That is a health testing volume for early week reporting. 

Fourteen additional people have died from COVID, bringing Minnesota's total fatalities from the virus to 8,025. Four of those deaths involved people in their 60s, while the rest are all between the ages of 70 and 99. Three of the fatalities were reported in Rice County, while Anoka, Freeborn and Washington Counties each recorded two deaths.

The state vaccine dashboard says as of Monday 73% percent of eligible Minnesotans ages 16 and older have received at least one dose (3,381,502 people), while 3,205,863 of those (69.4% of those eligible) have completed their COVID series and are considered fully vaccinated. 

In total, 6,363,781 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered to Minnesotans, with 58% of those being Pfizer, 37.5% Moderna, and 4.5% Johnson & Johnson. 

Tuesday, Sept. 21

11 a.m. 

Data released by the Minnesota Department of Health Tuesday reflects 6,352 new cases of COVID-19 documented over the past three days. 

Numbers reported on Tuesdays appear high as they reflect data collected between 4 a.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday. Still, new COVID infections averaged more than 2,100 per day, bringing total cases in Minnesota to 690,390 since the pandemic began. 

On a side note, MDH also tells KARE 11 that 228 COVID cases have been linked to the MN State Fair at this time. 

Credit: KARE

As of Monday, 791 people were being treated for COVID in hospitals across Minnesota, 222 of them in intensive care units. Health officials have consistently warned that the delta variant spreads faster, and can result in more severe symptoms that lead to increased hospitalizations. 

In total, 36,973 people have been hospitalized in Minnesota with symptoms of the virus.

Credit: KARE

MDH says 18 more people have died from the virus, pushing total fatalities past the 8,000 mark (8,011). One of the recent deaths involved someone between the ages of 40 and 44 from Otter Tail County, and two people from Ramsey County who were in their 50s. Of the total deaths, 4,607 (57%) are associated with long-term care or assisted living settings.

Credit: KARE

The state vaccine dashboard shows that the number of eligible Minnesotans ages 16 and over that are considered completely vaccinated is nearing the 70% threshold (69.4%. That's  3,202,712 people. MDH says 3,379,128 of those eligible have received at least one dose of vaccine (72.9%). 

Credit: KARE

In all, 6,357,428 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. 

8 a.m. 

Both hours of operations and available daily doses will increase at the Mall of America (MOA) COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic, in an attempt to make immunizations easier to get for young people ages 12-17, families and workers with tight schedules. 

Gov. Tim Walz announced that beginning Wednesday, September 22, the MOA site will have the capacity to administer 500 doses per day (up from 150), and will be operating Wednesday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“Whether at school, at work or at home, Minnesotans roll up their sleeves every day to make a difference," said Walz in a released statement. "If you aren’t vaccinated yet, now is the time to make a difference in the battle against COVID-19."

“Our students, families, and workforce are the strength of Minnesota,” added Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “To keep Minnesota safe and healthy, we must protect our kids, families, and workers from COVID-19. The surest way to do that is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. That’s why we are expanding hours at this site. Get in and get vaccinated, Minnesota!”

State health officials say with the presence of the highly-transmissible delta variant, getting vaccinated and increased testing are key in keeping students and educators in the classroom. They emphasize that vaccinations are free across Minnesota, including at all of the state’s community testing sites.

Immunizations are currently open to anyone 12 and up who are eligible, with or without insurance. Check out the MDH website for information on vaccine sites and hours.