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Live updates: MDH reports 2,714 new COVID-19 cases, 53 deaths

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine effort in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Sunday, Jan. 3

2 p.m.

The Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 2,446 new cases Sunday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 486,531.

Health officials reported five new deaths on Sunday as the total number of fatalities in Wisconsin rose to 4,875, which is approximately 1% of those testing positive for the virus.  

Due to high case numbers, Gov. Tony Evers issued a new emergency order mandating indoor face coverings on Friday, Nov. 20 that will last 60 days.

On Oct. 6, Gov. Evers' administration issued a new order limiting the size of public indoor gatherings to 25% of capacity, to stem the spread of COVID-19. That order was struck down on Oct. 13 by a judge in Sawyer County. The order was reinstated on Oct. 19 by a Barron County judge, but on Oct. 23, a Wisconsin appeals court put a hold on the order.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22 Gov. Evers announced that his administration has struck a deal with Vault Medical Services to provide free at-home COVID-19 saliva tests, according to the Associated Press. Anyone interested in a test can order one through the state Department of Health Services website starting immediately. Users must collect a sample as a Vault testing supervisor looks on via Zoom and then mail it back to a Vault lab using a prepaid label that comes with the kit. Results will take 48 hours to 72 hours.

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 21,529 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 4.4% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.  

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 19% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 16% are between 30 and 39, 15% are between 50 and 59, and 14% are 40 to 49. An estimated 11% are between 10 and 19, and another 11% are between 60 and 69.

As of Sunday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of confirmed cases with 85,745, along with 984 deaths. Waukesha County has reported 34,365 confirmed cases and 344 deaths, Dane County has reported 33,807 confirmed cases and 182 deaths, and Brown County has reported 26,463 cases and 162 deaths.

A more detailed breakdown of cases by county can be found on the DHS website.

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 2,714 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, along with 53 new deaths.

Take into account, these newly reported cases and deaths includes counts from Jan. 1 and 2, due to the holidays.

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 2,534 confirmed cases and 180 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 420,544, with 14,858 of those as antigen test results. 

MDH says 53 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 5,430.

To date, 22,095 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 4,658 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 403,419 people once diagnosed with the virus have recovered enough that they no longer need isolation.

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-24 account for the most cases with 42,649 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with
37,812 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,031 out of 5,561 cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 88,780 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 81,840 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 34,932 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting,
7,367 were in a corrections setting, and 874 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 18,106 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 26,196 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 12,285 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 150,164 cases is still unknown or missing.

MDH has prioritized testing for people in congregate care, hospitalized patients and health care workers, which may impact the scale of those numbers. However, now MDH is urging anyone who is symptomatic or even asymptomatic to be tested. Testing locations can be found online.

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 87,386 cases and 1,405 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 37,572 cases and 698 deaths, Dakota County with 30,764 cases and 281 deaths and Anoka County with 29,310 cases and 332 deaths.

Full data, including a breakdown of PCR and antigen test totals in some categories, can be found on MDH's website.

Saturday, Jan. 2

2 p.m.

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 1,078 new cases Saturday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 484,085.

Health officials reported one new death on Saturday as the total number of fatalities in Wisconsin rose to 4,870, which is approximately 1% of those testing positive for the virus.  

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 21,449 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 4.4% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.  

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 19% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 16% are between 30 and 39, 15% are between 50 and 59, and 14% are 40 to 49. An estimated 11% are between 10 and 19, and another 11% are between 60 and 69.

As of Saturday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of confirmed cases with 85,527, along with 984 deaths. Waukesha County has reported 34,235 confirmed cases and 344 deaths, Dane County has reported 33,539 confirmed cases and 183 deaths, and Brown County has reported 26,288 cases and 162 deaths.

A more detailed breakdown of cases by county can be found on the DHS website.

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 2,543 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, along with 54 new deaths.

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 2,200 confirmed cases and 343 probable cases.

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 417,832, with 14,682 of those as antigen test results. 

MDH says 54 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 5,377.

To date, 21,984 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 4,638 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 398,199 people once diagnosed with the virus have recovered enough that they no longer need isolation.

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-24 account for the most cases with 42,427 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with
37,576 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,018 out of 5,531 cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 88,175 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 81,340 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 34,669 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting,
7,334 were in a corrections setting, and 866 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 17,827 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 25,985 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 12,208 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 149,428 cases is still unknown or missing.

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 86,762 cases and 1,390 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 37,330 cases and 694 deaths, Dakota County with 30,490 cases and 279 deaths and Anoka County with 29,116 cases and 327 deaths.

Friday, Jan. 1

  • WI health officials report 1,905 new cases, 10 new deaths
  • No numbers will be released on Friday, Jan. 1
  • 2,204 new cases, 61 deaths reported Thursday
  • Public feedback welcomed on vaccine distribution process

2 p.m.

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 1,905 new cases Friday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 483,007.

Health officials reported 10 new deaths on Friday as the total number of fatalities in Wisconsin rose to 4,859, which is approximately 1% of those testing positive for the virus.  

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 21,400 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 4.4% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.  

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 19% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 16% are between 30 and 39, 15% are between 50 and 59, and 14% are 40 to 49. An estimated 11% are between 10 and 19, and another 11% are between 60 and 69.

As of Friday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of confirmed cases with 85,154, along with 984 deaths. Waukesha County has reported 34,234 confirmed cases and 344 deaths, Dane County has reported 33,539 confirmed cases and 183 deaths, and Brown County has reported 26,288 cases and 162 deaths.

11 a.m.

MDH said no new numbers will be reported on Friday in observance of the New Year's Day holiday. The department's regular situation updates will resume on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Thursday, Dec. 31

11 a.m.

In its final daily situation update of 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 2,204 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and 61 additional deaths.

The new case numbers include 1,798 confirmed cases from PCR testing, and 406 probable cases from antigen testing, based on a combined volume of 48,440 tests.

Thursday's update brings the total number of reported COVID-19 infections in Minnesota to 415,302 throughout all of 2020 so far, with additional cases expected to be added to the year's final total following today's testing.

MDH said 397,080 patients once diagnosed with the coronavirus have recovered to the point that they no longer need isolation.

According to MDH, the 61 additional deaths reported Thursday brings the statewide total to 5,323 deaths since the pandemic began. 

A total of 21,864 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Minnesota during the pandemic, with 4,620 patients requiring care in the ICU.

MDH also updated its vaccine administration numbers on Thursday, which show 44,638 Minnesotans have now received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna versions of the vaccine.

Wednesday, Dec. 30

6 p.m.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says a vaccine advisory group was meeting Wednesday and again on Jan. 11 to provide state leaders with recommendations for phase 1B of vaccinations, which is expected to include those age 75 or older and front line essential workers. Phase 1B vaccinations are currently expected to be available starting Jan. 18, and is expected to include more people than Phase 1A.

Ehresmann also notes vaccine administration is not a perfect process, as the vaccine has an expiration date on it. She said in some rare instances, health care facilities that complete their current scheduled vaccine administrations may also vaccinate some people outside of the the current Phase 1A group to ensure that no vaccine is wasted.

However, Ehresmann said most Minnesotans in the general public outside the initial priority groups should anticipate that it could take several months before they're able to receive a vaccine.

MDH says it will allow the general public to provide feedback regarding a portion of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process to the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Advisory Group - which MDH says informs who among society should receive the vaccine first. 

You can weigh in here.

11 a.m.

In the Minnesota Department of Health's (MDH) final regular media briefing of 2020, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said MDH is pleased to see lower case numbers and hospital bed use for COVID patients in recent weeks following a peak in November. Malcolm said MDH will continue to watch key metrics closely in January following December holiday gatherings, but said the absence of a surge after Thanksgiving shows Minnesotans have been taking appropriate actions to curb the spread of the virus.

Infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann noted that MDH is now providing daily updates on the number of Minnesotans vaccinated for COVID-19. 

MDH said 38,284 people across the state had been vaccinated as of Wednesday, including 37,654 people who have received the Pfizer vaccine and 589 who have received the Moderna vaccine. 

Updated figures on the MDH website also showed more than 169,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine have been allocated to Minnesota, along with more than 127,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Ehresmann said the distribution figures (the number of doses allocated by the federal government to providers) and administration data (the number of vaccines given to people as reported to a state database) are not necessarily a direct comparison.

"Even once vaccine arrives at its final destination, there are processes that the sites need to follow to get things ready before giving vaccines," Ehresmann said. "So vaccine is not just coming into the state and sitting. It's moving to where it needs to go, then providers are administering it. And even after administering, there's a period of time before those doses get reported (to us) to report to you."

Ehresmann also said the COVID-19 vaccination set-up is different than a flu shot clinic, which adds time to the process.

"Vaccination is happening at an unprecedented pace. It was exactly one year ago today when our staff received the first notification of a cluster of 'unexplained pneumonia' at at province in China," Ehresmann said. "The fact we even have a vaccine within the first year of that notification is remarkable."

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