As COVID-19 Cases Grow, MN Health Officials Raise Concerns Over Delta Variant
7-26 COVID-19 Update: MDH Provides Latest on Delta Variant
The Minnesota Department of Health provided an update at 3 p.m. Monday to provide the latest public health information regarding variants of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as well as on the state’s vaccination efforts.
You can watch the full briefing here.
Latest on COVID-19 Cases
- MDH reported 424 new cases Monday (these are cases reported through 4 a.m. last Friday since data no longer released over weekend). Weekend cases will be released Tuesday.
- COVID-19 hospitalizations increased to 153 on Monday. MDH reported low of 90 two weeks ago.
- DNA sequencing suggests 75% of new cases in Minnesota linked to delta variant of novel coronavirus.
- The 7-day case positivity rate has risen to 2.3%. The low was 1.1% on June 29. The state’s caution threshold is 5%.
- MDH reported 3 new deaths, all from Hennepin County. One of the deaths was a resident in their early 40s, another in their late 50s.
- A total of 7,653 Minnesotans have died due to COVID-19 since the first identified Minnesota case on March 6, 2020.
Latest on Vaccination Data
- 56.2% of state’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine
- Of the eligible population, ages 12+, 66.5% has received at least one dose
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- More than 97% of people hospitalized are among the unvaccinated, citing data from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
- COVID-19 cases have tripled in the U.S. over last three weeks.
- “We’re certainly not done with this pandemic as much as we’d like to be,” said Malcolm.
- As of data through July 14, 99.9% of Minnesota who are fully vaccinated have not contracted the virus. Cases for those who are fully vaccinated are called “breakthrough cases.”
- Vaccines are holding up well, even against delta, but don’t want to give the virus more chances to evolve.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann:
- Delta variant is “not same old COVID,” it’s highly contagious and causes more severe illness.
- MDH reports 3,886 infections in more than 3 million fully vaccinated Minnesotans
- That’s a breakthrough rate of less than 0.1%
- The breakthrough infections include 53 people who died from COVID-19. The median age of these deaths is 77.
- “No vaccine is 100% effective.”
- Any advice on booster shots will be made by the CDC. This means that vaccinated people may require a further vaccine dose down the line as virus evolves.
- Hope to get recommendation for vaccines for children under 12 “in the coming months.” End of 2021 is now target date for possible emergency use authorization for vaccines for young children.
- “Children continue to be more spared in general,” with the delta variant, but says colleagues in other states have seen more severe cases in kids with this particular COVID strain.
- “Where we’re at is not sufficient at this point,” in reference to the percentage that gets you to herd immunity. “There’s no magic number,” she noted.
On Mask Use and Back to School
- “We are working with our colleagues at the [Minnesota] Department of Education” said Malcom.
- “We will be saying more about that just in the coming days here,” said Malcolm. CDC put out school recommendations a couple weeks ago, which advises indoor mask use for kids under 12 or those who are not fully vaccinated.