Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Hospitalizations fall below 200; disease recedes

A man holds his shirt as he receives a vaccine.
From right, medical assistant Xe Thao administers a COVID-19 vaccination to Dr. Xoua Thao at United Family Medicine on Jan. 20.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • Active case counts hover at April 2020 lows; hospitalizations fall below 200

  • 65.4 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 60.3 percent now completely vaccinated

  • Highly unlikely state will meet July 1 goal of 70 percent vaccinated adults

Updated 11:38 a.m.

Minnesota’s newest COVID-19 data continues to paint a picture of a pandemic firmly in retreat.

Wednesday’s report showed 150 new cases with the trend hovering at or near levels not seen since the earliest months of the pandemic. Known, active cases remain below 2,000 and at their lowest point since April 2020.

Hospital and intensive care needs have fallen to a fraction of what they were a month ago. Fewer than 200 people are hospitalized now with COVID-19, the first time that’s happened since last summer.

While those disease metrics remain solid, the vaccination rate has slowed to a crawl, making it extremely unlikely the state will reach its goal of getting at least one vaccine dose into 70 percent of the state’s 16-and-older population by July 1.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

Hospitalizations, active cases retreating

State public health leaders worried throughout the pandemic that Minnesota hospitals would be overwhelmed by a crush of COVID-19 patients needing treatment or an ICU bed. Those worries have abated in recent weeks.

The latest Health Department report shows 192 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 54 in intensive care. Both figures continue to slide 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 more than half over the past month or so. ICU admissions are trending at their lowest levels since near the start of the pandemic.

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

The count of known, active COVID-19 cases came in at 1,585, the lowest since April 2020. About a month ago, Minnesota had more than 13,000 known, active cases. At one point in November, it topped 50,000.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The state’s averaged 220 new cases a day over the past seven reporting days. Five weeks ago, that count topped 1,500 a day.

Eight newly reported deaths on Wednesday put Minnesota’s pandemic toll at 7,477. Among those who have died, about 59 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 recorded 603,144 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 150 posted Wednesday.

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 now they are low and falling in every age group and 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 crawling

Nearly 2.9 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose. More than 2.6 million are completely vaccinated. That works out to about 60.3 percent completely vaccinated and 65.4 percent with at least one shot, including 90 percent of people 65 and older.

The vaccination pace, however, has been largely in free-fall since peaking in April.

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

It looks like it will be the end of July before the state reaches 70 percent of adults with at least one shot.

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

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 89,000 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 fallen following an early surge.

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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