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Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Vaccination race on as hospitalizations, cases rise

Apr 06, 2021 05:45AM ● By Editor
Gary Boelhower receives a shot of the Moderna vaccine from Essentia Health nurse Jen Lemone on Feb. 26 in the basement of Asbury United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minn., during a vaccine clinic targeted at the BIPOC community in the city.
Photo: Derek Montgomery for MPR News file


From Minnesota Public Radio News - April 6, 2021


Minnesota’s most recent COVID-19 data shows the state’s vaccination rate continuing apace while caseloads and hospitalizations rise. Officials, though, are cautioning people not to read too much into the first couple of days of data this week given delays in reporting over the Easter weekend.

Numbers that would have been reported on Sunday were posted instead on Monday. Tuesday’s Health Department update will contain data for two reporting days. 

Overall, the state remains in a pattern of encouraging increases in inoculations and worrisome growth in new cases and hospitalizations.

Here are Minnesota’s current COVID-19 statistics:

  • 6,885 deaths (10 new)

  • 527,650 positive cases(1,385 newly reported); 96 percent off isolation

  • 41 percent of adults with at least one dose; more than 26 percent completely vaccinated

  • About 83 percent of Minnesotans 65 and older with at least one vaccine dose

The Health Department reported about 69,000 more vaccinations, putting the seven-day trend at more than 54,000 shots daily. 

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

Even as they loosen rules to make it a bit easier for assisted living residents to get out for April celebrations, play cards and eat dinner together, officials remain increasingly concerned over rising caseloads tied to the U.K. COVID-19 variant and to youth sports.

Monday’s report also showed the state’s positive test rate trending for a sixth day above 5 percent — a warning sign about a possible surge. 

More than 1.1 million Minnesotans are fully inoculated while more than 1.8 million have received at least one dose, including more than 82 percent of residents age 65 and older. Minnesota expects to see its federal vaccine supply shipments jump over the next few weeks.

A line chart

Officials have described the current situation as race against time to vaccinate as many Minnesotans as possible before the COVID-19 variants can get a stronger foothold in the state. They’ve confirmed nearly 1,000 cases in the state of the highly contagious U.K. strain in recent weeks and believe it’s responsible for the majority of the spread that happening now.

To help win that race, state and federal officials on Monday unveiled plans to vaccinate as many as 100,000 Minnesotans over the next eight weeks at a site to be built at the state fairgrounds. The site will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Graph projecting when most Minnesotans will get vaccinated
Projections by MPR News data reporter David Montgomery 


Cases, hospitalizations rising

Warning lights continue to flash around Minnesota’s COVID-19 disease metrics.

The number of known, active cases has been trending upward over the past few weeks, with 16,053 active cases as of Monday’s report — marking 17 consecutive days with active counts above 10,000, a stretch not seen since January.

Active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota



While still low compared to late November and early December, the rising trend is notable given the worries over the rise of the U.K. COVID-19 strain, which state health officials suspect is driving the current upswing.

Hospitalizations counts are also moving higher. Agency data showed 448 people with COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals; 110 needed intensive care. Daily admissions to hospitals because of COVID-19 are trending at their highest levels since late January.

Graph of new ICU and non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations


Ten deaths reported on Monday raised Minnesota’s overall pandemic death toll to 6,885. Among those who’ve died, about 62 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems. 
New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

The state has recorded 527,650 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including 1,385 posted Monday. About 96 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 in the pandemic have recovered to the point where they no longer need to be isolated.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

Regional hot spots bubble

Regionally, all parts of Minnesota are in better shape than they were in late November and early December. The latest numbers, however, show cases creeping up in almost every region of the state.

New COVID-19 cases by Minnesota region
Public health leaders continue to keep watch on clusters in the southwest Twin Cities metro area as well as Mankato in southern Minnesota and around Aurora and Ely in the northeast. Central Minnesota is also seeing a rise in positive COVID-19 cases.


Cases spread across age groups

People in their 20s still make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — more than 98,000 since the pandemic began, including more than 51,000 among those ages 20 to 24.

New Minnesota COVID-19 cases by age adjusted for population

The number of high school-age youth confirmed with the disease has also grown, with more than 41,000 total cases among those ages 15 to 19 since the pandemic began. 

With kids increasingly returning to school buildings and sports, Minnesota public health officials are urging Minnesota families with children to get tested every two weeks for COVID-19 now until the end of the school year.

Although young people are less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease and end up hospitalized, experts worry they will spread it unknowingly to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations. Those with the coronavirus can spread it when they don’t have symptoms. 

Caseloads 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.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by race

Even as new case counts continue to track well below their late November, early December peaks, the data shows Latino people continue to be hit hard.

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.

Officials have acknowledged that distrust by communities of color has been a problem during the pandemic. They’ve offered up some data on vaccinations broken down by race and ethnicitythat they’re updating regularly.

Top headlines

Minnesota to host FEMA vaccination site at state fairgrounds: The site will receive 168,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson over eight weeks. The governor said the site, which will begin administering shots on April 14, will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

As nursing homes open up, families, operators remember COVID's torment, focus on what's next: More than a year into the pandemic, families, administrators, staff and residents are cautiously moving into a post-vaccine life. They do so while holding onto the memories of one of the most devastating years in the history of long-term care. For all, it has been a year of pain and change.

As schools reopen in Minnesota, COVID-19 cases climb: State officials say that more than 750 Minnesota schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, and many are likely from a more contagious, more severe version of the virus that originated in the United Kingdom.


To read the original story and read more COVID-19 reporting, follow this link to the MPR News website.  https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/04/06/latest-on-covid19-in-mn

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