5-4 COVID-19 Update: Nearly Half of Minnesotans Have Received At Least One Vaccine Dose
Latest on MN COVID-19 Vaccines
Trees are in full bloom and vaccination efforts are in full swing. About 47 percent of Minnesotans, or 2.6 million people, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 36 percent of people have completed their vaccinations.
Maple Grove Fire Chief Tim Bush, who provides regular COVID-19 updates to the city council, says “we’ve reached the point where the number of available vaccine appointments is starting to outpace individuals seeking a vaccine.”
Minnesota ranks No. 3 in the nation in percentage of doses administered at about 90 percent.
Turn the Dial?
Minnesota’s 7-day rate case rate has fallen to 5.9 percent. That’s compared to 7.5 percent on April 8. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is expected to announce this week another loosening of COVID-19 restrictions as a result of case rates trending downward.
Everyone age 16 and older can receive at least one of three vaccines currently available in the U.S. Bush told the Maple Grove City Council that he also expects a turn of the dial.
“I think it’s going to be very hard for the governor to not turn the dials up,” said Bush, pointing to other states like New York and California that have loosened restrictions.
There’s also signs of optimism about the Minnesota State Fair, which Walz recently said will be a “pretty close to normal event.”
Case Perspective from Maple Grove
Since the start of the pandemic, Maple Grove has had 6,537 total confirmed cases as of data through April 25. That’s the fourth highest total in Hennepin County.
The city has also experienced a total of 49 COVID-19 deaths, 10th highest in Hennepin County.
Bush provided the updated numbers to the city council Monday night.
Update from Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health provided an update on the latest COVID-19 information at a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday.
You can watch the 2 p.m. briefing here. Information highlights from the press conference are provided below.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- In Minnesota, a total of 581,335 cases have been verified since start of pandemic.
- MDH reports 998 new cases Tuesday on testing volume of 13,840
- “There is still an extremely high level of virus circulating all over the state,” said Malcolm.
- Today is first day under 1,000 cases since March 22
- Malcolm still encouraging students in school and in youth sports to get tested regularly.
- MDH reports 11 new deaths. The state has had 7,174 total deaths since pandemic began.
- Pfizer vaccine reaching final stages of federal review to soon increase eligibility for its vaccine to ages 12 and up. (It’s currently 16 and up for Pfizer; ages 18 and up for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vaccines)
- “Given the significant number of cases we’ve seen in middle and high school-aged kids recently, this expansion would really be a welcome development and a significant step forward,” said Malcolm.
- People 19 and younger represented 18% of SARS-CoV-2 infections overall and 26% of infections since April 1.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann:
- The U.S. has imposed travel restrictions from India, where cases have soared. The travel ban doesn’t impact U.S. citizens who have an exemption.
- “It’s a reminder of how potent this virus is and how careful the world needs to be,” said Ehresmann.
- The CDC discourages international travel, especially those who are not fully vaccinated.
- In recent days, six cases of B.1.651 variant have been detected in Minnesota. This variant was first identified in India last December. It’s described as “a variant of interest” by the World Health Organization.