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Minnesota reports 1,847 new COVID cases, 15 more deaths

Here are the latest developments on COVID-19 spread and vaccine progress in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Sunday, April 18               

  • Minnesota passes 7,000 reported COVID-19 deaths
  • MDH: More than 1.6 million in Minnesota fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • MDH: More than 50% of state's eligible population at least partially vaccinated
  • MSHSL asks state to allow spring sports athletes to compete without masks
  • MDH: 29 COVID cases at 13 schools linked to South Dakota youth wrestling tournament outbreak
  • Pfizer CEO says third dose of vaccine likely needed
  •  U.S. setting up $1.7B  national network to track COVID variants

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 1,847 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, along with 15 additional deaths. 

That new case total includes 1,561 confirmed (PCR) cases and 286 probable (antigen) cases.

RELATED: What are the different types of coronavirus tests?

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 556,381, with 35,769 of those as antigen test results.

MDH says 15 new deaths from the virus were reported. The total number of fatalities in Minnesota is 7,020.

As for vaccination data, MDH said 2,274,426 people in Minnesota have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That's about 51.6% of Minnesota's eligible population. Of that group, 1,600,887 are fully vaccinated against the virus -- about 36.3% of the state's eligible population. 

To date, 29,006 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,922 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 530,121 people once diagnosed with the virus have passed the point where they are required to isolate.

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-24 account for the most cases with 54,303 cases and four deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 49,518 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,306 out of 6,579 diagnosed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 127,920
cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 116,228 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 41,113 cases involved exposure in a congregate care setting,
8,540 were in a corrections setting, and 1,255 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 21,924 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 39,249 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 15,793 diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 184,359 cases is still unknown or missing.

Saturday, April 17

After passing 1.5 million fully vaccinated Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health said the state passed a more somber milestone Saturday: Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 7,000 Minnesotans have died of COVID-19. 

MDH reported 10 additional deaths Saturday, bringing the exact total to 7,005. The state also reported 2,429 new COVID-19 cases. 

MDH's COVID-19 case definition includes both antigen testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Positive PCR test results are considered confirmed cases, while positive antigen test results are considered probable cases. 

Saturday's new case total includes 2,011 confirmed cases and 418 probable cases.

RELATED: What are the different types of coronavirus tests?

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 554,236, with 35,491 of those as antigen test results.

In terms of vaccinations, MDH said 2,241,000 people in the state have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. That's about 50.8% of the state's eligible population. Of that group, MDH said 1,563,210 are fully vaccinated -- about 35.4% of the state's eligible population. 

Credit: KARE

To date, 28,991 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,921 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 527,674 people once diagnosed with the virus have passed the point where they are required to isolate.

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-24 account for the most cases with 54,171 cases and four deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 49,353 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,304 out of 6,570 diagnosed cases.

Friday, April 16

Minnesota has hit another milestone in the effort to vaccinate residents against COVID-19, with more than 1.5 million people now considered "completely vaccinated." 

Data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) indicates that as of Wednesday, 1,520,040 residents have completed their COVID series, whether it be one or two shots. That means 34.5% of those eligible (age 16 and older) are considered immunized against the virus, according to the CDC. 

The number of Minnesotans who have received at least one shot is now up to 2,198,550, just under 50% of the state's eligible population (49.8%). 

Credit: KARE

New infections continue at a level that concerns state health officials, with 2,299 cases reported in the past day. That brings total COVID cases to 552,117 since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota. Those new cases were confirmed by 51,856 tests (45,115 PCR, 6,741 antigen) completed in private and state labs, a relatively high testing volume. Health officials consider a positive PCR a confirmed COVID case, while a positive antigen case is considered probable. 

Credit: KARE

MDH has recorded another six deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 6,995. The virus has been most deadly for people between 85 and 89, with 1,303 deaths in just 6,564 diagnosed cases. Young adults make up the largest grouping of cases, with those 20 to 24 accounting for 53,932 cases and four fatalities. 

Currently 671 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, slightly down from Thursday's 699. Of those patients 165 have symptoms serious enough to require treatment in the ICU. Bed availability at hospitals across the Twin Cities is tight, with just 70 non-ICU beds open, a vacancy rate of 1.9%. 

Hennepin County has recorded the most COVID activity in the state with 114,976 cases and 1,676 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 47,562 cases and 851 deaths, Dakota County with 42,219 cases and 422 deaths, and Anoka County with 38,230 cases and 415 fatalities. 

Credit: KARE

RELATED: Pfizer CEO says third COVID-19 vaccine dose 'likely' needed

Thursday, April 15

2 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health warned of a COVID-19 outbreak associated with a youth wrestling tournament in South Dakota earlier this month.

Kris Ehresmann, who leads the state's infectious disease division, said they've identified 29 cases linked to the outbreak, at 13 schools across Minnesota.

Ehresmann urged anyone who attended the Northland Youth Wrestling Association tournament in Sioux Falls from Wednesday, March 31 to Saturday, April 3, to get tested immediately.

11 a.m.

New single-day COVID-19 cases jumped by more than 1,000, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The department recorded 2,736 new infections in the past day, up from 1,715 reported Wednesday. Testing volume was nearly double Wednesday, however, with 46,409 tests (37,618 PCR, 8,791 antigen) processed in private and state clinics. 

Total COVID cases have now risen to 549,830 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Hospitalizations remain high across the state, with 699 people being treated for the virus on an in-patient basis as of Wednesday. Of those patients, 168 are receiving ICU care. Bed availability is low across the Twin Cities metro, with just 65 non-ICU beds (1.8% vacancy) open between all reporting hospitals.

Credit: KARE

MDH says 524,290 people who at one time tested positive for COVID no longer require isolation. 

An additional 11 people have died from the virus, bringing total fatalities to 6,989. 

Minnesota stands on the cusp of having half the state's eligible residents (age 16 and older) immunized with at least one dose. As of Tuesday 2,162,585 people had received at least one dose, 49% of those eligible. The vaccine dashboard says 1,488,103 residents (33.7% of those eligible) have completed their series, and are considered fully vaccinated.

Credit: KARE

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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.