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Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Vaccination rates hold steady statewide

Apr 21, 2021 06:17AM ● By Editor
Syringes filled with the Moderna vaccine await patients in February at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.  Photo: Derek Montgomery for MPR News

From Minnesota Public Radio News - April 21, 2021

Newly reported COVID-19 cases continued to decline on Tuesday, as hospitalizations remain stable. But the number of people in the intensive care unit has been climbing in recent days.

Meanwhile, vaccinations continue at a steady pace, with about 52 percent of all Minnesotans 16 and older having had at least one shot. Around the state, more and more vaccine appointments are available and unclaimed. 

As the state races to beat out a new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 with vaccines, COVID-19 cases — and case positivity rate — continue to decline. 

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

Here are Minnesota’s latest COVID-19 statistics, as of Tuesday:

  • 7,031 deaths (five new); 558,850 positive cases; 95 percent off isolation

  • 52 percent of adults with at least one dose; 36 percent completely vaccinated

  • About 85 percent of Minnesotans 65 and older with at least one vaccine dose

Graph projecting when most Minnesotans will get vaccinated
MPR News data reporter David Montgomery projects current vaccination data into the future to show when most Minnesotans would get vaccinated at various paces.
David H. Montgomery | MPR News

Vaccinations on downward slide

As of Tuesday, the state Health Department data showed that more than 1.6 million Minnesotans had completed their full vaccine series — two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — while nearly 2.3 million have received at least one dose, including about 85 percent of residents age 65 and older. 

Those numbers have been holding steady in recent days, and the data overall suggests vaccines are on a downward slide. This is partially driven by supply cuts, particularly in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which federal authorities paused last week as it investigates the possibility of rare side effects associated with the shot. 

Meanwhile, supply continues to outpace demand in some parts of the state.

On Tuesday, Mayo Clinic, which has locations throughout southern Minnesota, put a call out to media that it had too many spots. In a notice sent to the press, Mayo said that people who are not Clinic patients could sign up for a vaccine with them, as well as people who don’t live in Minnesota. 

Elsewhere, local public health with extra doses is partnering with schools to vaccinate teenagers 16 and older. 

Still, the data shows that Minnesota, on the whole, is administering vaccines almost as quickly as they come in. 

Hospital, ICU needs hover at winter levels

Hospitalizations have climbed significantly in the past few weeks and are hovering around levels not seen since early January. Health officials say coronavirus variants circulating in Minnesota are driving those increases.

Still, the latest numbers suggest that hospitalizations may be peaking. 

The age of those newly hospitalized is trending younger than earlier in the pandemic. The majority of people in the hospital now for COVID-19 are younger than 60.

Six deaths Tuesday raised Minnesota’s overall pandemic death toll to 7,031. Among those who have 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 558,850 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 1,189 posted Tuesday. About 95 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

There are signs that the current wave of new cases may be ebbing. The percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 over the past seven days continues to drop. 

Thanks to vaccinations, officials don’t believe Minnesota will experience the kind of steep surge in cases seen in November and December.

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 across the state.

New COVID-19 cases by Minnesota region
New Minnesota COVID-19 cases by age adjusted for population
New COVID-19 cases per capita by race
Chart of vaccinations by race
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