ST PAUL, Minn. — Wednesday, Jan. 13
- 50 more Minnesotans have died from COVID-19
- MDH unveils new vaccine dashboard
- Bars and restaurants open indoor dining at 50% capacity
- Five cases of new COVID-19 strain confirmed in MN
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 50 more Minnesotans, according to data released Wednesday by state health officials.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) now says 5,774 people have died from coronavirus since the pandemic arrived in the state. Of those deaths 3,693, or 64% of them, are linked to assisted living or long-term care settings.
The 50 deaths are the most reported in a single day since Jan. 6, when MDH recorded 67.
MDH says 1,504 new cases were recorded in the past day, based on results from 23,956 tests (18,694 PCR, 5,262 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 a probable case.
Those new cases bring the state total to 440,354, of which 17,125 are a result of antigen tests.
The state's new vaccine dashboard says 146,901 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 7,928 have completed the two-dose series. Minnesota health care providers have received 383,625 doses of vaccine, while the CDC has shipped 103,700 to Minnesota as part of the federal long-term vaccination program. At this point 32% of all doses received have been administered.
Hospitalizations continue to drop statewide, with 665 beds currently being used to treat COVID patients. Of those patients, 129 are being treated in ICU. Hospital bed availability in the Twin Cities took a slight drop in the past day, with just 137 non-ICU beds open (3.7%) and only 45 ICU beds open (6.5%).
In total, 23,018 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with 4,822 of those patients requiring ICU care.
Young adults account for the largest groupings of COVID cases in Minnesota, with those 20 to 24-years old making up 44,479 cases and three deaths, followed by people 25 to 29 with 39,701 cases and six deaths.
The age group linked to the most deaths from the virus is 85 to 89-year-olds, with 1,088 fatalities in just 5,798 diagnosed cases.
Hennepin County has recorded the most COVID activity in the state with 91,596 cases and 1,449 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 39,305 cases and 726 deaths, Dakota County with 32,427 cases and 317 deaths, and Anoka County with 30,560 cases and 355 fatalities.
Cook County in northeastern Minnesota has the least recorded COVID activity with 112 cases and zero deaths.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
The Minnesota Department of Health held their daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday, in which they outlined the rollout of the state's new COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. (mn.gov/vaccine)
The new online tool is intended to help the public track Minnesota's vaccine distribution progress, including how many doses are available in the state, as well as who's being vaccinated right now.
"We wanted to share this information in a meaningful way, a way that helps shape opportunities for improved vaccine delivery, and provides clear insight into the decision making process," said Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services Tarek Tomes.
Tomes says the new daily dashboard will help outline the state's vaccine distribution progress, both in terms of localized information, as well as federal-level commitments to the state of Minnesota - and whether those commitments are being achieved or not.
"The goal of this new dashboard is to provide a more visual and user-friendly way to view key vaccination data for our state," says MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann.
However, in MDH's journey to make the data as easy to understand as possible, Ehresmann says the task is complicated by the "different types of vaccine allocations there are and what [they're] able to track."
In particular, she noted, it is difficult for MDH to track and monitor certain groups - like veterans affairs recipients or recipients of the Indian Health Service.
Despite these challenges, Ehresmann stated the dashboard would be updated daily starting at 11 a.m., unless noted otherwise - though some information will be updated weekly.
Ehresmann went on to outline the state's current vaccine distribution outlook.
Currently, she says the state is still in phase 1A of distribution, which includes those within assisted living facilities, as well as healthcare workers.
Ehresmann says MDH expects to finish phase 1A by the end of January, and commented on the Trump administration's Tuesday morning announcement to revise its guidance on vaccine distribution to states.
"More vaccine becoming available to more people more quickly would be a welcome development, but we will follow the adage 'trust, but verify,'" Ehresmann said. "A promise to deliver isn't delivering, and we've learned to be patient with federal government promises."
At the time of Tuesday's MDH call, Ehresmann said that Minnesota had not yet received any additional vaccine doses, and the state health department has yet to receive the new federal guidance in writing.
In the meantime, the state says it continues to target those most at risk of contracting COVID-19 - though Ehresmann says the state has preparations in place to scale efforts should more vaccines become available.
"We are ready to receive more vaccines if the feds actually follow through on their promise," she said.
MDH expects the next group of eligible people to include individuals "whose age puts them at increased risk" and individuals who have underlying health conditions.
Data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Tuesday indicates 1,335 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the past day, but a technical glitch reported Monday means the actual number is less than that.
On Monday, department spokesman Doug Schultz told KARE 11 that a file that loaded late pushed 558 positive tests to Tuesday's total. That means the actual number of new single-day cases on Tuesday is closer to 777 or so. Those cases, and the ones included from Monday are based on results from 29,315 tests (28,339 PCR, 976 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 a probable case.
Minnesota has now recorded a total of 438,867 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 16,921 of those attributed to antigen tests.
Thirteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, bringing total fatalities to 5,724. Of those deaths 3,660, or 64% of them, are linked to long-term care or assisted living settings.
Currently 144,503 Minnesotans have received one dose of vaccine, while 7,392 have completed the two-dose series. Minnesota health care providers have received 329,450 doses so far, while the CDC has sent 100,500 doses as part of the federal long-term care vaccination program. More information can be found on MDH's new COVID-19 vaccination dashboard webpage.
Hospitalizations across the state due to COVID-19 continue to trend downward. As of Monday 692 Minnesota hospital beds were being used for coronavirus patients, with 135 of those beds in the ICU. In the Twin Cities metro bed availability is improving, with 5.1% of non-ICU beds being open (188). Availability of ICU beds is slightly down at 7.7% (53 beds available).
Total hospitalizations since the onset of COVID-19 are now at 22,931, with 4,811 of those patients requiring treatment in the ICU.
MDH says 418,610 patients who once tested positive for the virus have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.
The largest grouping of deaths due to COVID-19 involve Minnesotans ages 85 through 89, with 1,077 fatalities in 5,786 diagnosed cases. Young adults make up the largest number of coronavirus cases, with those 20 to 24 recording 44,338 cases and three deaths, and 25 to 29-year-olds making up 39,578 cases and six deaths.
Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 91,292 cases and 1,448 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 39,186 cases and 723 deaths, Dakota County with 32,330 cases and 310 deaths, and Anoka County with 30,475 cases and 352 fatalities.
Cook County in northeastern Minnesota continues to report the least COVID activity in the state, with 111 cases and zero deaths.
KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11.
The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.