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Live updates: More than 50% of Minnesotans 65 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Here are the latest case numbers and trends in the battle against COVID-19 in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the effort to vaccinate against the virus.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Sunday, Feb. 28     

  • MDH: 51% of Minnesotans 65 years old and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose
  • New Minnesota COVID-19 cases remain under 1,000; 8 new deaths
  • Nearly 16% of Minnesota's population have received at least one vaccine dose
  • Walz: 70% of Minnesotans ages 65-plus will be vaccinated before other groups are eligible
  • New COVID-19 community vaccination clinic to open at MOA
  • Minnesota asks families with in-person students to get tested for COVID every two weeks
  • Delayed vaccines arrive in Minnesota after inclement weather, other issues

The percentage of Minnesotans who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose continues to creep higher. 

As of Friday -- the latest vaccination numbers reported by the Minnesota Department of Health -- 878,346 people in the state have received at least one dose. That's roughly 15.8%. Of that group, 452,562 have received a full series of doses. 

As for specific groups, 51% of Minnesota residents who are 65 and older have received at least one dose. 

New cases remained under 1,000 Sunday, as they have for most of the past week. MDH reported 813 new cases and 8 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 666 confirmed cases and 147 probable cases.

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 484,594, with 23,591 of those as antigen test results. 

MDH says 8 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 6,483.

To date, 25,719 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,306 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 470,819 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 48,233 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 43,297 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,229 out of 6,246 diagnosed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 108,349 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 99,958 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 39,160 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting,
7,939 were in a corrections setting, and 1,093 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 18,912 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 33,242 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 14,773 diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 161,168 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
100,538 cases and 1,584 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with
43,006 cases and 800 deaths, Dakota County with 36,180 cases and 389
deaths, and Anoka County with 33,231 cases and 384 deaths.

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

Saturday, Feb. 27

As Minnesota's vaccination effort continues, about 15% of the state's population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. 

That 15% is made up of 836,737 people. Of that total, 430,819 have received both doses and are considered fully vaccinated. The Minnesota Department of Health said that data, reported Saturday, is current as of Thursday. 

According to MDH, about 45% of Minnesota residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

As for other COVID-19 data, MDH reported 826 new COVID-19 cases and 13 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 704 confirmed cases and 122 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 483,790, with 23,445 of those as antigen test results. 

Credit: KARE

MDH says 13 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 6,475.

To date, 25,714 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 5,304 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 469,959 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 48,167 cases and three deaths, and ages 25-29 follow with 43,240 cases and six deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group with 1,227 out of 6,245 diagnosed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 108,044 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 99,701 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 39,122 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting,
7,937 were in a corrections setting, and 1,075 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 18,912 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 33,164 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 14,695 diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The source of transmission for 161,140 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
100,379 cases and 1,583 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with
42,945 cases and 800 deaths, Dakota County with 36,091 cases and 387
deaths, and Anoka County with 33,200 cases and 384 deaths.

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

Friday, Feb. 26

Minnesota's COVID-19 vaccination numbers are improving as new shipments of vaccine arrive in the state, according to numbers posted Friday on the state vaccination dashboard. 

Data shared by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says more than 41,238 people received a vaccination Wednesday, pushing the number of people who have received at least one dose to 804,716. Of those people 405,992 have completed the two-shot series. 

In total, 1,210,708 doses of vaccine have been administered. 

Vaccination numbers are normally higher late-week, but this week providers are scrambling to use twice the shipments, as they received both vaccine delayed by the southern storms and the lots the state normally gets.

Credit: KARE

At this point the dashboard says 14.5% of Minnesotans have received at least one dose of vaccine, and on Thursday Gov. Tim Walz said 43% of the state's residents ages 65 and over have been immunized. When that number reaches 70%, Walz says, vaccination efforts will turn to populations in the next groups.

RELATED: Walz announces vaccine timeline: Seniors now, all Minnesotans this summer

MDH recorded 1,156 new COVID cases, based on results from 39,601 tests (25,556 PCR, 4,045 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's case total has reached 482,978, with 23,328 of those cases corroborated by antigen tests.

Credit: KARE

12 more people have died from the virus, bringing the state total to 6,462 since the pandemic began. 

As of Thursday 263 people are being treated for COVID-19 at hospitals across the state, 60 of whom are receiving ICU care. Bed availability remains low in the Twin Cities metro where just 85 beds (2.3% of capacity) are open for non-ICU patients. 

Credit: KARE

MDH says 469,149 people who once tested positive have improved enough that they no longer need to isolate. 

Young adults between ages 20 and 24 account for 48,094 coronavirus cases, the largest age grouping in the state. Three people from that demographic have died from the virus. People between 85 and 89 are the latest group of fatalities, with 1,224 in 6,238 diagnosed cases. 

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota has seen the least COVID activity with just 119 reported cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Hennepin County has recorded the most COVID activity, surpassing the 100,000 mark with 100,202 cases and 1,580 deaths, following by Ramsey County with 42,883 cases and 798 deaths, Dakota County with 36,033 cases and 384 deaths, and Anoka County with 33,152 cases and also 384 deaths. 

 Thursday, Feb. 25

11 a.m.

New cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota are back up near the 1,000 mark, according to data released by state health officials Thursday. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recorded 996 cases of the virus in the past 24-hour reporting period. Department spokesman Doug Schultz  says case numbers early in the week tend to be lower due to low testing volume on weekends, and then ramp up as testing picks up mid-to-late week. Data shows that every Friday in February cases have been over 1,000. 

Friday's recorded cases are based on results from 42,749 cases (35,845 PCR, 6,904 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. 

New case additions bring Minnesota's total to 481,831, with 23,178 of those cases identified by an antigen test. 

Credit: KARE

Seven more Minnesotans have died from coronavirus, bringing fatalities to 6,450.

The state vaccine dashboard says as of Tuesday more than 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to residents, with 386,256 people completing the two-shot series. That translates to 14.1% of Minnesotans having received at least one dose. 

Credit: KARE

People ages 65 and above make up the largest group of those vaccinated, with 373,455 people having received at least one immunization. That's 43% of state residents in that demographic. 

Health officials say providers have used 89% of the vaccine supplies they've received within three days time, nearly reaching the goal of 90% spelled out by Governor Walz in a recent directive.

Credit: KARE

As of Wednesday 265 people are being treated in hospitals across the state, with 50 of them requiring care in the ICU. Bed availability in the Twin Cities metro remains quite low with space for just 97 non-ICU patients across the system, a 2.6% vacancy rate. 

Total hospitalizations have risen to 25,625 since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota, with 5,287 people requiring ICU care. MDH says 468,498 people who once tested positive have recovered to the point they no longer need to isolate.

Credit: KARE

Young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 have reached a new milestone, accounting for 48,000 COVID cases, the most of any age group in the state. Three people from that demographic have died from the virus. The age group tied to the most coronavirus deaths are those between 85 and 89, with 1,223 fatalities in 6,232 cases. 

Hennepin County has recorded the most COVID activity by a significant margin, with 99,972 cases and 1,578 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 42,807 cases and 796 deaths, Dakota County with 35,912 cases and 384 deaths, and Anoka County with 33,081 cases and 383 fatalities. 

Cook County has seen the least COVID activity with just 119 recorded cases. 

10 a.m. 

Gov. Tim Walz is scheduled to announce the next phase in Minnesota's vaccination effort Thursday, detailing his plan to make sure 70% of the state's residents ages 65 and up get their shots before other groups are eligible. 

The anticipated announcement is confirmed by administration spokesperson Teddy Tschann, who told KARE 11 the governor hopes to reach the 70% benchmark before the end of March. 

State health officials maintain that Minnesota has made "tremendous progress"  in vaccinating those most vulnerable, saying as of Thursday more than 43% of Minnesotans aged 65 and over have been vaccinated. They say severe illness and death in long-term care have plummeted as a result, with deaths down 97% from their November peak, and cases are down 89%.

“We set out to protect the most vulnerable Minnesotans, and we are honoring that commitment. Older Minnesotans have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are focused on making sure they get vaccinated and keeping them safe," said Governor Walz in a released statement. "These vaccines work - we can see that in the plummeting cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in long-term care facilities around our state. We will continue working with a robust network of providers to vaccinate all Minnesota seniors who need the most protection against COVID-19 right away.”

These developments come as more vaccine sites open across the state, including one planned for the Mall of America. This will become the fourth permanent site in Minnesota, joining locations already operating in Minneapolis, Duluth and Rochester. 

“We’re continuing to build a reliable network of options for Minnesotans to access the vaccine,” said Gov. Walz in a press release. “In addition to helping all Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their vaccine through the Vaccine Connector, the site at the Mall of America expands the network to give more Minnesotans access to shots in their communities.”  

Earlier in the week Gov. Walz held a press conference to highlight ongoing efforts by the state to vaccine all Minnesotans, with a special emphasis on members of BIPOC communities. 

Also Thursday the governor will walk Minnesotans through the planned vaccination strategy and announce the next phases of vaccine distribution, according to a press release.

Walz and state health officials have long said the goal of Minnesota's vaccine effort is to meet residents "where they are," removing barriers of transportation and logistics.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, and kare11.com/vaccine for answers to all of your questions about vaccines. 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.