ST PAUL, Minn. — Sunday, March 21
- MDH: More than 25% of Minnesotans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose
- New COVID-19 cases reported in Minnesota dip back below 1,000
- Mankato gets COVID-19 community vaccination site
- Minnesota hits milestones of 2 million vaccines, 500,000 COVID cases
- Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan, MDH Commissioner Malcolm in quarantine after potential COVID exposure
- MDH loosens outing and visitation guidelines for vaccinated long-term care residents
Minnesota has passed a vaccine milestone: just over 25% of the state's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
That percentage is made up of 1,408,601 people. The Minnesota Department of Health said 839,860 of those people are fully vaccinated -- just over 15% of the state's population. Those numbers, reported by MDH on Sunday, are accurate as of Friday.
As for other new COVID-19 data, MDH reported 956 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, along with five new deaths. That follows four consecutive days of new case totals above 1,000.
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.
Sunday's new case total includes 810 confirmed cases and 146 probable cases.
The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 505,224, with 27,335 of those as antigen test results.
MDH says five new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 6,782.
To date, 26,651 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,493 of them needing care in the ICU.
MDH reports that 488,156 people once diagnosed with the virus have passed the point where they are required to isolate.
Saturday, March 20
Minnesota reported 1,400 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, making it the fourth day in a row that new cases have remained over 1,000. Three of those four days had new case totals at or above 1,400 -- Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Minnesota Department of Health also reported 6 more deaths from the virus, bringing the state's total to 6,777.
As for vaccinations, MDH said 1,371,513 people in the state have gotten at least one vaccine dose. That's about 24.7% of Minnesota's population. Of that group, 816,289 have been fully vaccinated (about 14.7% of the state's population.)
MDH said just over 78% of the state's 65 and older population have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Saturday's new case total includes 1,162 confirmed cases and 238 probable cases.
The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 504,273, with 27,188 of those as antigen test results.
MDH says six new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 6,777.
To date, 26,641 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,493 of them needing care in the ICU.
MDH reports that 487,086 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 49,707 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 44,906 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,283 out of
6,426 diagnosed cases.
Friday, March 19
Minnesota officials held a call to provide updated information on the state's fight against COVID-19. You can watch it below.
On the call, MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm spoke on a new CDC guideline that recommends at least 3 feet of social distancing between students in middle and high school. She said Minnesota is already following that recommendation for schools, but urged people to keep 6 feet of distance when possible.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann spoke about COVID-19 variants, which have been of significant concern for Minnesota health officials. She said 317 cases caused by the B.1.1.7 variant have been found in Minnesota. She added that transmission for most of those cases was likely domestic.
Ehressman said B.1.1.7 is likely to "take over as the predominant circulating strain" in both Minnesota and the rest of the U.S. Several other variants have also been found in Minnesota, she added.
You can view the CDC's map of variant cases found in the U.S. here.
She urged Minnesotans not to let their guards down -- especially during upcoming spring holidays and school breaks.
Asked if Minnesota plans to lower vaccine eligibility requirements in rural areas where there might be less demand, Malcolm said MDH is tracking vaccine administration across the state. She said when an area ends up having more vaccine than needed, MDH generally just allocates less to that area the next week -- leaving more for areas that showed higher demand.
New cases of COVID-19 continue to trend higher, a development that state health officials are eyeing with concern.
Data shared Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 1,449 new infections were reported based on results from 40,005 tests (36,385 PCR, 3,620 antigen) processed in private and state labs. Health officials consider a positive PCR test a confirmed COVID case, while a positive antigen test is considered probable.
It's the third straight day new cases have been above 1,000, and the past two have been at or near 1,500. Yesterday's single-day total of 1,505 was the highest since Jan. 23.
Minnesota's COVID cases have risen to 502,893 since the start of the pandemic, 26,597 which are attributed to antigen tests.
Hospitalizations continue to climb as well, listed at 316 as of Thursday with 74 of those patients being treated in the ICU. The daily number of people being treated for COVID on an in-patient basis has not been that high since Feb. 17, when 303 hospitalizations were reported. At Twin Cities hospitals the percentage of open non-ICU beds is down to just 2.7%.
Total hospitalizations are up to 26,578.
MDH expressed concern during a call with reporters earlier this week that a climb in cases and hospitalizations could indicate that a backslide may be on the horizon when it comes to COVID in the state.
Of those who have tested positive for the virus, 485,912 have improved to the point they no longer require isolation.
Nine more people have perished from coronavirus, bringing total fatalities to 6,771. Of those 4,247, or 63% are tied to long-term care or assisted living facilities.
The most recent data from the state vaccination dashboard reflects a solid day Wednesday, with 44,791 doses being administered. The number of people who have received one dose is up to 1,337,892, or 24% of Minnesota's 5.6 million people. MDH says 788,495 people have received both doses to become completely vaccinated.
Data from the dashboard indicates 2,082,088 doses have been given to patients.
Thursday, March 18
Data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows the state has reached two significant COVID milestones. One of them is a measurement of how hard the virus has hit the state, the other is a testament to efforts to find a way out of the pandemic.
MDH says 1,505 new cases recorded in the last day push Minnesota's total infections past the half-million mark (501,458 total cases). The new infections are based on results from 42,954 tests (35,928 PCR, 7,026 antigen) processed in private and state labs.
State health officials expressed worry during a call with reporters Wednesday that despite optimism on the COVID front, cases and COVID-related hospitalizations are both trending up, and the numbers released Thursday bear that out. New case numbers have not been this high since Jan. 23, when 1,565 were reported, and hospitalizations were at 297, after dipping down into the lower 200s in early March.
Total hospitalizations are at 26,520, with 5,463 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. Of those who have tested positive for the virus, 485,358 no longer require isolation.
Six more Minnesotans have died from the virus, bringing total fatalities to 6,762 since the pandemic arrived.
The second milestone is more positive, with the state crossing the threshold of 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations given. The state vaccine dashboard reflects that as of Tuesday 2,023,574 immunizations have been administered, with 1,303,210 Minnesotans having received at least one dose. That's 23.4% of the state's 5.6 million residents.
MDH says 764,275 people have completed the two-shot sequence.
Young adults ages 20 to 24 are included in the state's largest group of cases with 49,450 and three deaths, followed by 25 to 29-year-olds with 44,657 cases a nd six fatalities. People ages 85 to 89 have suffered the most deaths, with 1,282 in 6,418 diagnosed cases.
COVID data reflects that the state's four largest counties have also had the most coronavirus activity. Hennepin County reports 104,017 cases and 1,629 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 44,064 cases and 831 deaths, Dakota County with 37,734 cases and 402 deaths, and Anoka County with 34,292 cases and 403 fatalities.
Cook County has seen the fewest COVID cases with 133 since the start of the pandemic.
Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday that Minnesota has officially administered more than 2 million coronavirus vaccine doses to residents across the state.
According to the most recent statewide vaccine data, more than 1.3 million Minnesotans have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 764,275 are fully vaccinated. Nearly 77% of adults 65 and older, one of the state's first vaccine priority groups, have also received at least one dose.
The milestone number comes as Minnesota prepares to surpass half a million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. Updated daily case and death numbers will be reported by the Minnesota Department of Health at 11 a.m.
“Hope is on the horizon as more than two million doses of life-saving vaccines have gone into the arms of our loved ones in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz in a statement. Walz is currently in quarantine after coming in contact with a COVID-positive staff member.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.