3 things to know
Only 128 new cases reported; active cases drop to April 2020 lows
Minneapolis, St. Paul ending mask mandates
64.7 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 59 percent — more than 2.6 million people — now completely vaccinated
Updated 2:42 p.m.
Minnesota’s pandemic picture continues to improve rapidly in the early days of June. Wednesday’s data shows new and active COVID-19 caseloads falling to levels not seen since April of last year. Only 128 new cases were added, with no new deaths.
The only anxious trend right now: the vaccination pace continues to slide. But the overall disease trends remain solid enough that Minneapolis and St. Paul have dropped their masking requirements.
State health officials on Wednesday said that more than 70 percent of the 16-and-older population in the Twin Cities metro area has received at least one vaccine shot, but the rate is only about 57 percent outside the metropolitan region.
Active cases, hospitalizations retreating
Minnesota’s averaged fewer than 300 new cases a day over the past seven reporting days. Four weeks ago, it topped 1,500 a day. The latest count of known, active COVID-19 cases came in at 2,403, the lowest level in more than a year.
There were 260 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota; 76 needed intensive care. Both figures continue to trend down from their April peaks. Six weeks ago, hospitalization were approaching 700 people, with more than 200 in ICUs.
New hospital admissions around COVID-19 are falling quickly.
No newly reported deaths on Wednesday kept Minnesota’s pandemic toll at 7,427. Among those who have died, about 60 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted-living facilities; most had underlying health problems.
The state’s recorded 601,645 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 128 posted Wednesday.
About 98 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 in the pandemic have recovered to the point where they no longer need to isolate.
Regionally, all parts of Minnesota are in better shape than they were in late November and early December. Case counts had crept up across the state during April, but now they are low and plunging in every age group and every region.
People in their 20s still make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — more than 111,000 since the pandemic began.
Although young people are less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease and end up hospitalized, experts worry they can spread it unknowingly to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations.
Vaccination pace sliding
The vaccination pace has been struggling to regain its traction the past six weeks and is now declining rapidly.
More than 2.8 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose. More than 2.6 million have completed their vaccinations as of Wednesday’s update.
That works out to about 59 percent of the 16-and-older population completely vaccinated and 64.7 percent with at least one shot, including 90 percent of those 65 and older.
Minnesota’s seen notable growth in the number of children ages 12 to 15 getting vaccinated since mid-May, when federal authorities approved the Pfizer vaccine for use at those ages.
Health Department data shows more than 78,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose. That’s about 27 percent of that population already with at least one shot. The pace, though, is slowing following the early surge.
State public health leaders have been pleading with those still not vaccinated to get their shots. Eligible Minnesotans can now walk in for a COVID-19 vaccination without an appointment at the state’s community vaccination program locations.
Officials are pressing now to get at least 70 percent of the state’s 16-and-older population vaccinated with at least one dose by July 1.
Health leaders on Wednesday renewed their concerns about the vulnerability of people who remain unvaccinated. Gov. Tim Walz last week rolled out incentives, including state park passes and Minnesota State Fair tickets, to nudge unvaccinated Minnesotans to get their shots.
Around 2,000 people have registered to get an incentive so far, Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters Wednesday. While it’s still early, she added, “we’re encouraged by the response.”
COVID-19 in Minnesota
Data in these graphs are based on the Minnesota Department of Health's cumulative totals released at 11 a.m. daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department website.