BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Tuesday, Sept. 21
- State expands hours, daily doses at MOA community vaccination clinic
- MN poll shows support for masks in schools, mixed views on vaccine mandates
- Applications being accepted for Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant program (small businesses)
- Nearly 800 people in MN hospitals for COVID-19
- MDH announces app for vaccine records, including COVID-19
Data released by the Minnesota Department of Health Tuesday reflects 6,352 new cases of COVID-19 documented over the past three days.
Numbers reported on Tuesdays appear high as they reflect data collected between 4 a.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday. Still, new COVID infections averaged more than 2,100 per day, bringing total cases in Minnesota to 690,390 since the pandemic began.
On a side note, MDH also tells KARE 11 that 228 COVID cases have been linked to the MN State Fair at this time.
As of Monday, 791 people were being treated for COVID in hospitals across Minnesota, 222 of them in intensive care units. Health officials have consistently warned that the delta variant spreads faster, and can result in more severe symptoms that lead to increased hospitalizations.
In total, 36,973 people have been hospitalized in Minnesota with symptoms of the virus.
MDH says 18 more people have died from the virus, pushing total fatalities past the 8,000 mark (8,011). One of the recent deaths involved someone between the ages of 40 and 44 from Otter Tail County, and two people from Ramsey County who were in their 50s. Of the total deaths, 4,607 (57%) are associated with long-term care or assisted living settings.
The state vaccine dashboard shows that the number of eligible Minnesotans ages 16 and over that are considered completely vaccinated is nearing the 70% threshold (69.4%. That's 3,202,712 people. MDH says 3,379,128 of those eligible have received at least one dose of vaccine (72.9%).
In all, 6,357,428 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
Both hours of operations and available daily doses will increase at the Mall of America (MOA) COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic, in an attempt to make immunizations easier to get for young people ages 12-17, families and workers with tight schedules.
Gov. Tim Walz announced that beginning Wednesday, September 22, the MOA site will have the capacity to administer 500 doses per day (up from 150), and will be operating Wednesday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“Whether at school, at work or at home, Minnesotans roll up their sleeves every day to make a difference," said Walz in a released statement. "If you aren’t vaccinated yet, now is the time to make a difference in the battle against COVID-19."
“Our students, families, and workforce are the strength of Minnesota,” added Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “To keep Minnesota safe and healthy, we must protect our kids, families, and workers from COVID-19. The surest way to do that is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. That’s why we are expanding hours at this site. Get in and get vaccinated, Minnesota!”
State health officials say with the presence of the highly-transmissible delta variant, getting vaccinated and increased testing are key in keeping students and educators in the classroom. They emphasize that vaccinations are free across Minnesota, including at all of the state’s community testing sites.
Immunizations are currently open to anyone 12 and up who are eligible, with or without insurance. Check out the MDH website for information on vaccine sites and hours.
Monday, Sept. 20
Nearly 2,500 more Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to daily numbers released by state health officials.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 2,474 new infections were reported between Thursday and Friday morning, bringing the state total to 684,070 since the pandemic began. Those cases are based on results from 45,709 tests (37,341 PCR, 8,368 antigen) processed in private and state labs.
MDH considers a positive PCR test a confirmed COVID case, while a positive antigen test is listed as a probable case.
Testing volume has been trending higher since the emergence of the delta variant and the return of students to school.
Ten more Minnesotans have died of COVID, including one person between age 30 and 34 from Rice County. That brings total fatalities from the virus to nearly 8,000 (7,993). Of those deaths 4,602 (58%) are associated with assisted living or long-term care facilities.
As of Friday 757 people were being treated for COVID at hospitals across Minnesota, with 230 of those patients requiring treatment in the ICU. Total hospitalizations from the virus have risen to 36,860.
The state vaccine dashboard says 72.8% of eligible residents ages 16 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine as of Thursday, Sept. 16 (3,372,740 people), with 3,193,314 of those having completed the COVID shot series to be considered completely vaccinated (69.2%).
In all, 6,340,399 doses of COVID vaccine have been given to Minnesotans, with 58% of those Pfizer, 37.5% Moderna, and 4.5% Johnson & Johnson.
Minnesota-owned and operated businesses are now invited to apply for their share of more then $64 million in COVID relief grants.
Those applying for a grant must demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-10 pandemic. The grants awarded will range from $10,000 to $25,000. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women and Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process.
Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.
For more information on the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant program, check out the DEED website.