May 7 update on COVID-19 in MN: Active cases fall below 2K; vaccinations crawl

A woman with a face mask rolls up a sleeve for a nurse.
Chelsea Albin (left) of Duluth prepares to get her first COVID-19 vaccine dose from a St. Louis County nurse at a pop-up clinic at Duluth’s downtown transit center on May 4, 2021
Dan Kraker | MPR News

3 things to know

  • Active case counts trending at April 2020 lows

  • 65.2 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 60.1 percent now completely vaccinated

  • State unlikely to meet July 1 goal of 70 percent vaccinated adults

Updated: 11:49 a.m.

Minnesota’s newest COVID-19 numbers reaffirm that the pandemic is waning quickly. Falling active case counts and low positive test rates continue to signal the COVID-19 virus is less prevalent in the state than at any time since the pandemic’s first month or so.

The vaccination pace continues to trip along, making it increasingly unlikely the state will reach its goal of having 70 percent of the 16-and-older population with at least one shot by July 1. About 65 percent have at least one dose, with 60 percent fully vaccinated.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

Active cases retreating

How quickly have conditions brightened?

Monday’s state Health Department report showed the count of known, active COVID-19 cases at 1,860 — falling below 2,000 for the first time since April 2020. A month ago, Minnesota had more than 14,000 known, active cases. At one point in November, it topped 50,000.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The state’s averaged 232 new cases a day over the past seven reporting days. Five weeks ago, that count topped 1,500 a day.

There were 243 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota as of Friday; 63 in intensive care. Both figures continue to trend down from their spring peaks. In late April, hospitalizations were approaching 700 people, with more than 200 in ICUs.

Average daily hospital admissions have fallen by about half over the past three weeks.

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

Two newly reported deaths on Monday put Minnesota’s pandemic toll at 7,467. 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’s recorded 602,880 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 196 posted Monday.

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.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

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.

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.

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 mostly in free-fall since peaking in April and continues at a slow pace.

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

Nearly 2.9 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose. More than 2.6 million have completed their vaccinations as of Monday’s update.

That works out to about 60.1 percent of the 16-and-older population completely vaccinated and 65.2 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 87,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose. That’s about 30 percent of that population already with at least one shot. The pace, though, has dropped off following the early surge.

A line chart.

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.

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.

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