4-8 COVID-19 Update: Minnesota Surpasses 3 Million Vaccine Doses Administered
4-8 COVID-19 Update from Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health provided the latest public health information regarding COVID-19 vaccines, variants and testing Thursday, April 8, at 2 p.m.
You can watch the full briefing here.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- In Minnesota, 535,182 total cases since pandemic began (up 2,535 on testing volume of 44,111 lab tests)
- In Minnesota, 6,922 total deaths (up 14)
- State’s 7-day case positivity rate now at 6.4%, highest since Jan. 7. (The state’s caution threshold is 5%)
- Fast-spreading variants are contributing to this rise (see below).
- Hospitalizations in Minnesota due to COVID-19 have increased from a low of 210 on March 6 to 565. (131 listed in intensive-care units)
Latest on COVID-19 Vaccines:
- Minnesota now above 3 million doses administered
- 34.2% of the state’s population has received at least one dose. (NOTE: Only ages 16+ approved for Pfizer vaccine and 18+ for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at this juncture).
- Not yet at threshold announced March 26 of state receiving 500,000 vaccine doses a week, said Malcolm. Currently at 340,000 first doses.
- “We are continually reassured by our federal partners… that that amount is going to grow further,” said Malcolm.
- More Johnson & Johnson vaccine expected to come online in late April.
- “We do anticipate that at some point in time there will be more vaccine available than there are people just waiting in line to get the shots,” said Malcolm. However, “I think we are a ways away yet from the point at which the supply does exceed the demand.”
State Epidemiologist and MDH Medical Director Dr. Ruth Lynfield:
- “The race between vaccination and variants continues.”
- The state’s Public Health lab sequencing 350 samples per week. Added additional lab partners, such as Infinity BiologiX, to process more samples of potential variants. The University of Minnesota Genomics Center is also sequencing.
- An estimated 50% to 60% of cases now due to variants of SARS-CoV-2. The most dominant variant is B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom, which has shown to spread more rapidly and cause more severe disease.
- 1,573 cases of B.1.1.7 detected in Minnesota based on lab sequencing. Approximately 4% of these cases have been hospitalized and five people have died.
- Detected 337 cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants, first discovered in California
- Cases of P.1 variant (first reported in Japan from Brazilian travelers) and B.1.351 variant (first emerged in South Africa) mostly associated with foreign travel.
NOTE: Imam Hassan Jama, executive director of the Islamic Association of North America, also on the call.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Weekly COVID-19 report released Thursday showed continued increases through March 27 in infections on college campuses and among K-12 students.
- Infections haven’t increased among K-12 educators.
- 69% of K-12 educators in Minnesota have received vaccine.
- If someone loses their vaccination card, there is a record in the state’s vaccine registry. Vaccine recipients can also contact the health care provider or clinic to get that record, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health.