Three things to know today about COVID-19 in Minnesota:
The Minnesota Department of Health is expected to announce an increase in vaccine doses for people 65 and older, and more ways to get those vaccinations.
About 7.6 percent of Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the vaccine; 2 percent have received both doses.
Averaged over the past week, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Minnesota each day dropped below 1,000 on Sunday for the first time in more than four months.
The Minnesota Department of Health is expected to announce the next steps in the state’s COVID-19 vaccination effort on Monday.
After two weeks of a pilot program — for people 65 and older, and educators — that tested the logistics for community vaccination clinics, a state health official said Sunday night that the Health Department is set to announce:
“Significantly more” vaccine doses designated for Minnesotans age 65 and older, available not just at community vaccination sites but also by appointment at clinics, hospitals and pharmacies across the state.
Permanent community vaccination sites opening next week in Minneapolis, Duluth and a southern Minnesota location to be determined, with additional sites opening in the coming weeks.
An online map directing Minnesotans to providers in their area who are administering vaccinations.
More details are slated to be announced later Monday.
While there is not yet enough vaccine to meet the demand, state health officials said the infrastructure in place now will speed vaccinations once more doses are available.
The update will come as the most recent report from health officials shows about 418,000 Minnesotans — 7.6 percent of state residents — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nearly 112,000 people — about 2 percent of state residents — have received both doses to complete the vaccination.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 numbers in Minnesota are continuing to move in a positive direction as February begins.
Averaged over the past week, the 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 numbers of COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths each day also continue to fall, as does the average test positivity rate.
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
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.
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.
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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