May 30 update on COVID-19 in MN: Daily case counts lowest in 11 months; vaccination pace falling

A woman in a mask fills a syringe with vaccine from a vial
Kylee Ressemann pre-fills syringes with the Moderna vaccination for COVID-19 on April 7. The CentraCare nurse was part of a mobile ’strike team’ that set up at First Presbyterian Church in Foley, Minn. to administer the vaccine.
Paul Middlestaedt | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • New case trend lowest since June

  • 64.5 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 58.8 percent — more than 2.5 million people — now completely vaccinated

  • COVID test positivity rate near all-time low since start of pandemic

Updated: May 30, 11:51 a.m.

Minnesota is now averaging fewer than 400 new COVID-19 cases each day.

As of Sunday's update from state health officials, the seven-day rolling average is now at the lowest level seen in the state in more than 11 months.

And the average COVID test positivity rate is just above 2 percent — near an all-time low since the start of the pandemic.

But the COVID vaccination pace in Minnesota also continues to tumble. The state is now averaging fewer than 23,000 shots a day over the past week — less than half the number of doses administered each day at the start of the month, and the lowest level since late January.

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Here are Minnesota’s latest COVID-19 statistics:

  • 7,426 deaths (8 new)

  • 601,384 positive cases; 98 percent off isolation

  • 64.5 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 58.8 percent completely vaccinated

There won’t be updated numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health on Monday because of the Memorial Day holiday; those updates will resume on Tuesday.

Hospitalizations, active cases receding

After an anxious April, the evidence seems clear that Minnesota’s spring surge is over.

Sunday’s Health Department report showed the count of known, active COVID-19 cases dropped below 4,000, the first time that’s happened since last July.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

There were 316 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota as of Friday; 77 needed intensive care. Both figures continue to trend down from their April peaks. The count of intensive care patients is at its lowest point since March. Five weeks ago, more than 200 people were in ICUs.

New hospital admissions are also trending at their lowest point in more than two months.

Graph of new ICU and non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations

Eight newly reported deaths on Sunday put Minnesota’s pandemic toll at 7,426. Among those who have died, about 60 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted-living facilities; most had underlying health problems.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

The state has recorded 601,384 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 287 posted Sunday — the 16th consecutive day of fewer than 1,000 new cases. The seven-day new case average is down to a level last seen in late June.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

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 the trend is clearly on the slide.

New COVID-19 cases by Minnesota 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. The number of high school-age youth confirmed with the disease has also grown, with more than 49,000 15-to-19-year-olds known to be infected during the pandemic.

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. Those with the COVID-19 virus can spread it when they don’t have symptoms.

Vaccination pace wobbly

After a roller coaster few months, the seven-day vaccination trend had stabilized at around 40,000 shots a day earlier this month. Recent days’ data, though, now shows that pace down to fewer than 23,000 — making it more likely the recent 40,000 rate was an anomaly driven by a backlog of shot data.

The current pace of vaccinations is less than half what it was at the start of May, and the lowest level seen since late January.

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

More than 2.8 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose. Nearly 2.6 million have completed their vaccinations as of Sunday’s update.

That works out to about 58.8 percent of the 16-and-older population completely vaccinated and 64.5 percent with at least one shot, including 89 percent of those 65 and older.

Graph showing when Minnesota is on target to vaccinated 70% of adults

Minnesota is also seeing 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 76,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose. That’s about 26 percent of that population already with at least one shot.

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.

Graph projecting when most Minnesotans will get vaccinated
MPR News data reporter David Montgomery projects current vaccination data into the future.
David H. Montgomery | MPR News

With the disease data solid, state officials are pushing now to boost vaccination counts. Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday rolled out incentives, including state park passes and Minnesota State Fair tickets, to nudge unvaccinated Minnesotans to get their shots. On Friday, he highlighted some post-vaccination perks.

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.

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.