Latest on COVID-19 in MN: pandemic picture brightens; Languish in vaccinations

3 things you should know

  • Number of new and active cases lowest since April 2020

  • 65.8 percent of the population aged 16 and over with at least one vaccination; 61.4 percent fully vaccinated

  • At the current pace, the state will not reach the target of 70 percent of vaccinated adults until August

Minnesota public health leaders had feared the end of the statewide masking mandate last month could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases, but so far this has not been the case.

The state’s latest COVID-19 numbers show the lowest number of new daily cases in Minnesota since the earliest weeks of the pandemic. Active cases and hospital stays are rapidly declining.

However, the vaccination rate has slowed down to a trickle. With July 1st targeted as the date to give at least one dose to 70 percent of the population 16 and older, it now looks like that won’t happen until early August.

Minnesota also has some large regional variations in vaccination rates.

Here are Minnesota’s newestota COVID-19 statistics:

  • 65.8 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 61.4 percent fully vaccinated

  • 7,518 deaths (1 new)

  • 603,966 positive cases; 99 percent less insulation

New, active fall trend at lows in April 2020

Overall, the basic figures continue to show an illuminating picture of the pandemic.

Tuesday’s report showed the state’s average 156 new cases per day over the last seven reporting days, the lowest since April 2020. Known, active cases of the disease occurred at 1,265 and have continued to bottom since late April 2020.

How quickly did the conditions improve? As of May 1, Minnesota was recording an average of more than 1,500 new cases per day and had more than 15,000 known active cases.

COVID-19 hospital admissions are also continuing to slide from their spring peaks. The Department of Health reported that 147 people were hospitalized in Minnesota, 49 of them in intensive care.

Daily intensive stays in the weeks of the last year after the discovery of the first COVID-19 case are close to their lowest level since data collection began. Never before have fewer people with the disease been hospitalized here since the data was reliably tracked last summer.

Chart of new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the ICU and outside the ICU

A new death reported Tuesday raised the Minnesota pandemic number to 7,518. About 59 percent of the deceased lived in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most of them had health problems.

New COVID-19-related deaths are reported in Minnesota every day

The state has so far recorded a total of 603,966 confirmed or probable cases of the pandemic, including the 95 that were released on Tuesday.

New COVID-19 Cases Per Day in Minnesota

About 99 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic have recovered enough to no longer need to be isolated.

The number of cases had crept across the state in April after a massive spike in late November and early December. Now, however, the numbers are low and falling in every age group and region.

New COVID-19 Cases by Minnesota Area

People in their twenties are still the age group with the highest number of confirmed cases in the state – more than 111,000 since the pandemic began.

Although young people are less likely to experience the worst effects of the disease and be hospitalized, experts fear they may unwittingly pass it on to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations.

The vaccination rate stumbles too

The health department has not yet updated its vaccination numbers on Tuesday.

Monday’s report showed that more than 2.9 million residents aged 16 and over had at least one dose of vaccine. More than 2.7 million are fully vaccinated.

This corresponds to about 61.4 percent fully vaccinated and 65.8 percent with at least one vaccination, including 90 percent of people aged 65 and over.

Graph showing the total number of COVID-19 vaccinations by age

However, the vaccination pace is now stumbling after falling from its April peak. If the pace continues to slow down, it will be early August before the state hits 70 percent of adults with at least one shot.

Chart showing when Minnesota is vaccinated in 70% of adults

Officials recently found that more than 70 percent of the population aged 16 and over in the Twin Cities metropolitan area had received at least one dose of vaccine, but the rate was below 60 percent in much of the state, creating a worrying urban-rural vaccination gap.

Minnesota Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Map

Minnesota has seen a remarkable increase in the number of children ages 12-15 since mid-May, when federal agencies approved the Pfizer vaccine for use at this age.

Health Department data shows that more than 95,000 12 to 15 year olds received at least one dose, about 33 percent of that population. However, the pace has slowed after an early climb.

The latest data available also shows that nearly 70 percent of Minnesotans of Asian descent have been vaccinated. Given the delay in reporting race and ethnicity data, it is likely that the population will be the first to cross the 70 percent threshold.

Walz is expanding emergency power, possibly for the last time

Governor Tim Walz on Monday made what may be the final extension of his peace emergency around COVID-19.

The emergency declaration frees up more federal aid for nutrition programs and enables vaccination and test programs to be carried out flexibly. Almost all corporate restrictions have already been lifted.

The Executive Board of National Leaders has signed the 30-day extension.

Vaccinations and coronavirus immunity should prevent the disease from spreading seriously at this point, but there could be places where infection rates are rising again, Walz said.

– Brian Bakst | MPR news

COVID-19 in Minnesota

The data in these graphs is based on the Minnesota Department of Health’s cumulative totals, published daily at 11:00 AM. More detailed statistics on COVID-19 can be found on the Health Department website.

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