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Live updates: With weekend backlog, MDH reports 16,204 new COVID cases

Here is the latest data on Minnesota's battle against COVID-19, the delta and omicron variants and the efforts to increase vaccinations and testing across the state.

ST PAUL, Minn. —

  • MDH reports 16,204 news cases and 36 new deaths
  • MSP Airport COVID testing site now appointment only
  • FDA approves Pfizer boosters for children 12-15
  • School districts urge caution as students return to classrooms
  • MDH said 90% of cases can be attributed to omicron

Tuesday, Jan. 4

3 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said approximately 90% of positive COVID-19 cases coming in are of the omicron variant.

MDH told KARE 11 it analyzed a data sample from more than 12,000 positive tests, finding a little more than 11,000 had the "S-gene target failure," a characteristic found within the omicron variant, but not delta.

Meanwhile, December 2021 proved to be the deadliest month in the year for COVID-19 in Minnesota.

1,134 deaths associated with COVID-19 were reported during the month of December. January 2021 had the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths with 877. 

Dec. 2021 still isn't as high as the 2020 winter surge where the month of December of that year saw 1,730 reported deaths from COVID-19.

11 a.m.

MDH is reporting a high number of COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend (through Monday), likely due to the fast-spreading omicron variant.

Officials announced Tuesday that the number of cases in the state has increased by 16,204, which is four days of data.

MDH no longer shares data on weekends, so numbers released on Tuesdays reflect reports from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday.

The cumulative total cases (including reinfections) in Minnesota is now at 1,045,170 since the start of the pandemic.

Thirty-six people died, bringing the cumulative COVID-19 death total to 10,600 since the pandemic began. 

The new fatalities reported include a person in their 20s in Dakota County and a person in their 30s in Douglas County. 

Credit: KARE 11

Health officials say 5,168 deaths have taken place in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

According to MDH's latest data available, 1,370 people are being treated for COVID in hospitals around the state, with 1,077 in non-ICU beds and 293 in the ICU.

Credit: KARE 11

ICU bed space continues to be low across the state. 

There are no staffed pediatric ICU beds available in the central portion of the state, and just three beds open in the metro.

Total hospitalizations since the arrival of COVID have risen to 51,145. 

MDH says 8,765,099 total doses of vaccine have been administered in the state, with 3,761,946 people age 5 and older having received at least one shot (72.2%). Of that number 3,526,903 people have completed their COVID series and are considered completely vaccinated (67.7%).

Credit: KARE 11
Credit: KARE 11

Among children 5-11 years old, 162,467 kids have at least one shot (32%) and 121,000 have completed their vaccine series (24%).

The state vaccine dashboard says of the total doses that have been administered in Minnesota, 59.5% are Pfizer, 36.7% are Moderna and 3.8% are Johnson & Johnson.

Watch more on the coronavirus:

Watch the latest reports and updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota with our YouTube playlist:

Monday, Jan. 3

4 p.m.

Vault Health, one of Minnesota's COVID-19 testing partners, is setting a daily limit for the number of free at-home saliva tests for all customers because of the high demand nationwide for tests. 

In a tweet, MDH said "the limit preserves tests for Minnesota when demand is surging in other parts of the country."

2 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said the COVID-19 testing site at MSP International Airport is moving to appointments only for Monday, Jan. 3 because of overcrowding.

MDH said there is high demand for post-holiday tests at sites across the state Monday and cautioned that wait times might be longer than normal. You can find a list of testing locations here.

Earlier Monday, KARE 11 viewer Kirsten Martensen shared several photos of long lines at MSP Airport for COVID-19 testing.

Credit: Kirsten Martensen
Long lines at MSP Airport COVID-19 testing site Credit: Kirsten Martensen

11 a.m.

State Health officials are reporting nearly 6,800 new COVID-19 cases as they catch up on data releases following the Christmas holiday. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recorded 6,780 new infections in the 24-hour period ending at 4 a.m. Thursday. The new cases bring the state total, including reinfections, to 1,028,986 since the pandemic began. 

MDH no longer shares recorded numbers on weekends, and no data was released on Friday, Dec. 31 due to the New Year's Eve holiday. 

Case positivity rates remain high, with 8.9% of all COVID tests being reported as positive as of Dec. 23. 

Credit: KARE

Another 48 Minnesotans have lost their lives to the virus, bringing total fatalities to 10,564. MDH says of those deaths 5,158, or 49% of them are tied to long-term or assisted living facilities. 

Among the deaths reported Monday are a person in their mid-to-late 30s from Isanti County, and five others in their 40s. 

Daily hospitalizations from COVID remain over the 1,300 mark, with MDH recording 1,313 people being treated on an inpatient basis as of Dec. 30. Health officials say 283 of those people require ICU care.

Total doses of vaccine administered in the state have reached 8,711,845. MDH says 59.5% of those doses are Pfizer, while 36.7% are Moderna and just 3.8% Johnson & Johnson. 

The latest data available says 3,753,519 Minnesotans ages 5 and up have received at least one shot, while 3,519,232 have completed the COVID series to be considered fully vaccinated. 

Credit: KARE

The state vaccine dashboard says 31% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have had at least one dose, with 23% fully vaccinated. The age group with the highest compliance involves people age 65 and older: 93% of that group has completed their vaccination process. 

Credit: KARE

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