COVID-19 numbers in Minnesota are continuing to move in a positive direction as January comes to a close.
When looking over the past week, the average number of new COVID cases reported in Minnesota each day dropped below 1,000 on Sunday for the first time in more than four months.
The average number of COVID hospital admissions and deaths each day also continue to fall, as does the average test positivity rate.
And the number of COVID-19 vaccinations is rising — with the health department on Sunday reporting the second straight day of more than 40,000 doses administered. Averaged over the past week, the state is seeing more than 30,000 COVID vaccinations a day for the first time.
About 2 percent of Minnesotans — close to 112,000 people — have received both doses to complete their COVID vaccination.
Here are Minnesota’s current COVID-19 statistics:
6,200 deaths (13 new)
461,807 positive cases (996 new); 446,137 off isolation (97 percent)
6.6 million tests, 3.3 million Minnesotans tested (about 56 percent of the population)
3.3 percent seven-day positive test rate (officials find 5 percent or more concerning)
7.6 percent of Minnesotans vaccinated with at least one dose
Amid the encouraging signs, Minnesota’s COVID-19 death toll continues to rise — reaching 6,200 on Sunday.
And health experts are closely monitoring new coronavirus variants, to watch for any signs of rising case counts.
Vaccinations in Minnesota continued on Sunday, after a technological glitch the previous day caused anxiety for some people signed up in the state’s 65-and-older vaccine pilot program. A vendor sent erroneous emails and text messages to thousands of Minnesotans, suggesting appointments had been canceled — but state officials stressed that pilot program vaccination appointments are continuing as scheduled. Find more details here.
Cases spread across age groups, regions
People in their 20s still make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — nearly 88,000 since the pandemic began, including more than 46,000 among people ages 20 to 24.
The number of high school-age youth confirmed with the disease has also grown, with more than 35,000 total cases among those ages 15 to 19 since the pandemic began.
Although less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease and end up hospitalized, experts worry youth and young adults will spread it to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations.
It’s of particular concern because people can have the coronavirus and spread COVID-19 when they don’t have symptoms.
Caseloads are trending down across all regions of the state following a late December, early January blip.
Hot spots continue to pop up in rural counties relative to their population.
Caseloads still heaviest among people of color
In Minnesota and across the country, COVID-19 has hit communities of color disproportionately hard in both cases and deaths. That’s been especially true for Minnesotans of Hispanic descent for much of the pandemic.
Even as new case counts ease from their late November, early December peaks, the data shows people of color continue to be hit hardest.
Distrust of the government, together with deeply rooted health and economic disparities, have hampered efforts to boost testing among communities of color, officials say, especially among unauthorized immigrants who fear their personal information may be used to deport them.
Similar trends have been seen among Minnesota’s Indigenous residents during the pandemic. Counts among Indigenous people jumped in October relative to population.
Vaccine pace quickening
State leaders were challenged early on to get COVID-19 vaccine shots into arms quickly, and took criticism that the process was too slow at the start.
The latest numbers, though, show the upswing in vaccinations well underway.
More than 418,000 Minnesotans received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, about 7.6 percent of the state’s population.
The climb in vaccinations is encouraging news in what’s been a hopeful few weeks in the pandemic. Still, vaccine demand continues to far outpace supply.
Touring a vaccination clinic Thursday in Brooklyn Center, Minn., Gov. Tim Walz said the state is in line to get a 16 percent increase in vaccine shipments from the federal government, allowing Minnesota officials to plan weeks, not days, ahead.
With COVID-19 conditions improving now and vaccinations picking up, “this is a golden opportunity” to keep caseloads and hospitalizations down, he told reporters, adding, “we’re starting to win that fight a little bit.”
The governor said he’s hopeful most Minnesotans like him, who aren’t in a priority group for a COVID-19 shot, can get one in March or April. “I told my team I want it by the opening day of baseball season,” he said Thursday.
Opening day for the Minnesota Twins is April 1. The home opener is set for April 8.
Error sends incorrect vaccine appointment messages to thousands of Minnesotans: Thousands of Minnesotans age 65 and older who signed up for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination pilot program received erroneous messages Saturday — messages that raised doubts about upcoming appointments.
Michael Osterholm on COVID variants — ‘we need to understand what’s coming’: Coronavirus cases are falling and vaccination numbers are rising. That’s good news, right? Yes, but COVID-19 strains that are believed to be more transmissible have public health experts warning about a possible new surge in cases. MPR News host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Michael Osterholm, an expert in infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota. He also served on the Biden transition coronavirus advisory board.
Bloomington schools shutter classrooms again after bus drivers test positive for COVID: Just 10 days after bringing some students back for in-person learning, an outbreak of COVID-19 among transportation workers has forced Bloomington Public Schools to return to distance learning until mid-February. At least eight people in the district’s transportation department have been infected.
Through grief, Hmong families torn between honoring the dead, keeping loved ones safe during COVID: In normal times, relatives and friends would gather for days or weeks, cooking side by side and consoling one another as part of the funeral proceedings. But with COVID-19 ravaging through the community, they’re left wrestling with how to plan a funeral that won’t be as big and lavish as they imagined.
From golden tickets to ‘Hunger Games’: Minnesota’s race to vaccinate educators and child care workers is now in its second week. The launch has successfully gotten shots into the arms of thousands of people, but it’s just a fraction of the state’s teaching force. And it’s not been without its share of mishap.
COVID-19 in Minnesota
Data in these graphs are based on the Minnesota Department of Health’s cumulative totals released at 11 a.m. daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department website.
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