ST PAUL, Minn. — Monday, Feb. 22
- Hy-Vee added to Minnesota pharmacy vaccine network
- U.S. passes grim milestone, 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
- More than 750,000 in Minnesota have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose; nearly 14% of population
- New cases remain under 1,000, deaths in single digits
- Delayed vaccines arriving in Minnesota after inclement weather, other issues
State health officials held a briefing to give updated information on Minnesota's COVID-19 situation and vaccination efforts. You can listen to it below.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said after shipping delays due to inclement weather in the southern U.S., Minnesota is seeing a "return to normal" in terms of vaccine shipments. She said the state's delayed Moderna vaccines will arrive in the next few days, and that appointments and scheduling will normalize soon.
Ehresmann added that the state did not lose any allotted doses due to the weather delays. She said she anticipates that the coming week will be a busy one for vaccine administration.
Ehresmann cautioned Minnesotans about returning to gyms and fitness centers, asking those who may be exposed or in a high-risk group to avoid going. Emphasizing that asymptomatic spread is still a concern, she said those who work out in gyms should mask up and wipe down the equipment they use.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm was asked about Gov. Tim Walz's goal to have all school teachers vaccinated by March 8. She said according to a projection from last week, about a quarter of the state's educators have been vaccinated. Malcolm said that number does not include all of those who have been offered vaccines.
Minnesota continues to make progress on COVID-19 vaccination efforts despite supply chain problems caused by recent winter storms in the southern U.S.
Data released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says as of Saturday, 13.7% of the state's population has received at least one vaccination (759,747 people) with 356,911 having completed the two-dose series.
A number of clinics were closed late last week and into the weekend due to the southern storms affecting distribution of the vaccine nationwide.
Of those vaccinated, residents ages 65 make up the largest group with 358,139 having received one or more doses, followed by those between 18 and 49 with 251,891. That group largely represents health care professionals, first responders and front line workers.
Providers report that 88% of the vaccine they are receiving is being administered within three days, just under the state goal of 90%.
MDH is reporting 561 new cases of COVID-19, based on results from 17,666 tests (16,474 PCE, 1,192 antigen) processed in private and state labs. That testing volume is relatively low, but typical for a Monday.
Health experts consider a positive PCR test a confirmed coronavirus case, while a positive antigen test is considered a probable case.
Minnesota has now recorded 479,591 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 22,732 are associated with antigen tests.
One death was reported in the last day, bringing total fatalities in Minnesota to 6,433. Of those deaths 4,038, or 63% of them are linked to long-term care or assisted living settings.
As of Sunday, 235 people across the state were hospitalized for COVID, the smallest number in months. Of those patients, 48 of them were in ICU. Total hospitalizations in Minnesota due to the virus now sit at 25,478.
MDH says 466,311 people once diagnosed with the virus have passed the point where they are required to isolate.
People between the ages of 20 and 24 account for Minnesota's largest group of cases with 47,826. Three people from that demographic have died of COVID. The largest group of deaths involves those between 85 and 89, with 1,220 fatalities in 6,218 diagnosed cases.
Cook County in northeastern Minnesota has recorded the least COVID activity with 119 cases and zero deaths. Hennepin County has experienced the most, closing in on 100,000 cases (currently 99,448) with 1,576 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 42,658 cases and 795 deaths, Dakota County with 35,669 cases and 383 deaths, and Anoka County with 32,939 cases and 383 fatalities.
Sunday, Feb. 21
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 891 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, along with 9 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.
Sunday's new case total includes 759 confirmed cases and 132 probable cases.
The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 479,036, with 22,666 of those as antigen test results.
Meanwhile, MDH reported that 754,602 people in the state have received at least one vaccine dose as of Friday. Of that total, 341,332 have received both doses. According to MDH data, a little more than 13% of the state's population has received at least one dose.
MDH says 9 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 6,432.
To date, 25,455 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,258 of them needing care in the ICU.
MDH reports that 465,382 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 47,782 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 42,850 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,220 out of 6,209 diagnosed cases.
In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 106, cas516es were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 98,437 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.
A total of 38,987 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting,
7,927 were in a corrections setting, and 1,004 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 18,677 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.
MDH says 32,782 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 14,624 diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 160,082 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 had the most COVID activity in the state with 99,347 cases and 1,576 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 42,602 cases and 794 deaths, Dakota County with 35,610 cases and 383 deaths, and Anoka County with 32,902 cases and 383 deaths.
Full data, including a breakdown of PCR and antigen test totals in some categories, can be found on MDH's website.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.