1-7 Minnesota COVID-19 Update: More Than 60,000 Vaccine Doses Expected Next Week
1-7-2021 COVID-19 Update from Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health is holding a press briefing Thursday, Jan. 7, to provide the latest public health information regarding COVID-19. Note: DEED Commissioner Steve Grove was also on the call to answer questions and provide insight.
To watch the full MDH briefing, click here.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 87.6 million cases since start of pandemic (up nearly 800,000); 1.89 million deaths (up 15,000)
- In U.S., 21.3 million cases since pandemic began (up 254,000); 361,000 deaths (up 3,912)
- In Minnesota, 429,570 total cases (up 2,004 over prior reporting day on 42,000 lab testing volume)
- Of the 429,570 cases, 408,510 (95%) patients are no longer considered infectious
- In Minnesota, 5,572 total deaths (up 44)
- Of the 44 newly reported deaths, 23 were residents of long-term care/assisted living
- 2 of the deaths were people in the age 45-49 range
- Hospitalizations declining. Prior to the holidays, state was at about 1,000 people needing hospital beds on average. Today there are 787 people in Minnesota hospitals for COVID-19. (of those, 135 in intensive care)
- 87 admissions per day on average. That’s 1/3 of peak in late November.
- 91,174 vaccine doses administered in Minnesota so far.
- There’s a lag due to reporting requirements, doses reported not in real time.
- About 120,00 doses administered as of this morning, but this is unverified, said Ehresmann.
- 7-day case positivity rate at 6.6% (as of Dec. 29).
- This has inched upward slightly
- There’s a one-week lag period with case positivity rate
- Encourages people to download the COVIDaware MN app, which tracks people who test positive for virus and notifies people who may been exposed.
- “It is no invasion of privacy, it’s been supported by the American Civil Liberties Union. It is totally anonymous,” Governor Tim Walz said about the app during Wednesday’s press briefing.
- Malcolm encourages people to get tested if they did more socializing and expanded their “bubble” over the holidays.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann:
- On vaccine timeline: state gets weekly allocation from federal government (MDH hears about allocation or promise of doses every Tuesday).
- Next weekly allocation is expected to be 32,900 Moderna doses and 33,150 Pfizer doses.
- State unable to place order for doses until Thursday. Delay of about a week of when state hears how many doses are allocated and when they’re actually received.
- “The vaccine is not sitting anywhere in Minnesota, it’s constantly moving. And it takes time to happen,” said Ehresmann. “We all want things to be progressing faster than they are.”
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Malcolm says she believes Minnesota initially was expected to follow ACIP vaccine distribution guidelines. ACIP provides guidance for who gets vaccine when. Minnesota also has its own advisory panel.
- Ehresmann: MDH confident state will have allocations to cover everyone in Phase 1a by end of month. Vaccinations could still be ongoing for the initial phase into February, but doses will be there.
- 8,908 doses administered so far to nursing home residents and staff. Ehresmann notes there’s a 72-hour lag period for vaccine dose reporting requirements. (The number of doses actually administered is higher than reported)
- 23,000 residents of long-term care/nursing home facilities and 75,000+ staff members need to vaccinated as part of Phase 1a
- Malcolm says MDH and Governor Walz keeping a close eye on the variant or variants of COVID.
- DEED Commissioner Steve Grove: “There’s strong agreement and desire on behalf of the business community to partner with government on a whole host of mitigation measures to ensure that as it relates to commercial activities that we’re safe.” Says businesses that violated restrictions “do not represent the lion’s share of businesses in our state who are doing everything they possibly can to protect both their workers and customers.”
- “We are looking for this variant,” said Malcolm on screening for it when people get tested. MDH lab has genome sequencing to test for variant, but many other labs do not.
- State advisory group meets Jan. 11 to work on equity guidelines for vaccine distribution