12-9 Minnesota COVID-19 Update: 82 New Deaths, 4,589 New Cases
The Minnesota Department of Health held a conference call Wednesday, Dec. 9, to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19. You can view the full briefing here.
NOTE: MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann also on the call to answer questions.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 68.5 million cases since pandemic began (up 627,000); 1.56 million deaths (up 12,300)
- In U.S., 15.1 million cases since start of pandemic (up 218,000); 286,000 deaths (up 2,592)
- In Minnesota, 363,719 total confirmed cases (up 4,539 over previous reporting day)
- MDH expects 400,000 cases in next week or so.
- Of the 363,719 confirmed cases, 320,233 (88%) are no longer considered infectious
- In Minnesota, 4,109 total deaths (up 82 over previous reporting day)
- Of the 82 newly reported deaths, 51 were residents of long-term care/assisting living.
- Deaths included two people in their 40s.
- Long-term care residents account for 66% of all COVID-19 deaths
- Hospital admissions have declined over past week, but rate of case growth 60% higher than a month ago. ICU admissions also near highest levels of the pandemic, said Malcolm.
- 7-day case COVID-19 positivity rate at around 13%. This is the key metric to monitor virus circulation.
- The vaccines, as Malcolm mentioned Tuesday, are a “pretty powerful fire hose,” but “we know the fire is quite large.”
- No mandate for vaccine, but highly recommended
- Federal government covering the cost of the vaccine. It will be free for individuals. Clinics can charge a minimal fee to administer it, but will be covered by insurance.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- On proof of vaccine, those who get vaccine will receive a card. MDH only sharing county and date of birth information with CDC for those who get vaccine.
- Second dose needed for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
- Thursday, Dec. 10, is two weeks from Thanksgiving. Impact in data should start showing up next week. (MDH had hoped cases wouldn’t increase/Thanksgiving social gatherings were minimal) Full data impact could be four weeks after Thanksgiving, said Malcolm.
- Ehresmann believes the “pause” with business restrictions and youth sports should lower case numbers.
- On the vaccine plan, essential workers likely to get vaccine before people age 65+ and those with underlying health conditions.
- Again, as mentioned Tuesday, very first people to get vaccine will be front-line health care workers treating COVID-19 patients and residents of long-term care/nursing home facilities.
- About 163,000 hospital workers across state in first and second tiers
- About 130,00 long-term care staff
- About 5,400 EMS workers
- Minnesota expecting 183,400 doses of vaccine by year’s end.
- No federal determination yet for who exactly is in Phase 1B and 1C. No final vote yet. Pfizer vaccine rollout expected Monday, Dec. 14, won’t be enough to cover all of Phase 1A.