ST PAUL, Minn. — Thursday, July 22
- Mayo vaccinologist says 4th COVID surge "entirely predictable"
- Ehresman: 75% of new MN cases are Delta variant
- Guinea drops out of Olympics, citing COVID concerns
- Canada to reopen border with U.S. to fully vaccinated Americans Aug. 9; U.S. to keep restrictions through Aug. 21.
- Olympics COVID-19 concerns continue as Team USA beach volleyball player tests positive.
- Hennepin County boosts vaccine incentive program with additional $250,000.
Data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) underlines the concerns health officials have voiced on a bump in COVID cases across the state, most of which involve the more contagious Delta variant.
Another 340 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24-hour reporting period, bringing the total number of infections to 609,016 since the onset of the pandemic. On Tuesday MDH officials said approximately 75% of new cases are linked to the Delta variant, which is easily transmissible and appears to impact children and the unvaccinated the most. There are elevated concerns about spread inside indoor sporting facilities.
Four more people have died from COVID, bringing total fatalities to 7,648. Of those deaths 4,498 (59%) are tied to long-term care or assisted living settings.
Daily hospitalizations dropped slightly with 108 people being treated for COVID on an inpatient basis as of Wednesday, 27 of them in ICU. Total hospitalizations now sit at 33,056, with 6,685 patients requiring ICU care.
The number of people ages 16 and older who have received at least one dose of vaccine now sits at an even 68% of those eligible (3,118,635 people). MDH says 2,969,903 people have completed the COVID series (65.1%) and are considered fully vaccinated.
Wednesday, July 21
Minnesota health officials reported 278 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 5 additional deaths.
Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, tells KARE 11 that 75% of the new cases involve the Delta variant. The CDC website says the Delta strain emerged in India and appears to be more contagious, especially in indoor sports and household settings. Global health experts say children and the unvaccinated are most at risk.
Since the pandemic first hit Minnesota, 608,678 people have tested positive in the state and 7,644 have died. More than 33,000 have been hospitalized, with 6,680 of those patients sent to ICU.
Wednesday's hospitalization numbers held steady with 116 COVID-19 patients in Minnesota hospitals. Of that group, 28 were in ICU.
State health officials say nearly 600,000 people who once tested positive for the virus no longer need isolation.
As of Monday (the most recent data available), MDH said 3,115,259 people in the state have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (68%). Most of them - 2,966,516 - are considered fully vaccinated.