Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Hospitalizations recede; cases trend lower

A teacher wearing a face shield and face mask gives hand sanitizer.
Kindergarten teacher Sherri Shober doles out hand sanitizer to students Jan. 19, 2021 at Park Brook Elementary School in Brooklyn Park.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • Current hospitalizations below 200; only 49 in ICUs; caseloads hover near April 2020 lows

  • 65.6 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose; 60.8 percent now completely vaccinated

  • At current pace, state won’t meet July 1 goal of 70 percent vaccinated adults

Updated 11:44 a.m.

Friday’s COVID-19 numbers show some of Minnesota’s key disease indicators at or near their lowest levels since the earliest months of the pandemic. Fewer than 200 people are hospitalized now with the disease.

The vaccination pace, though, continues to crawl, and the state is showing some big regional divides in vaccination rates.

New, active case counts trend at April 2020 lows

Overall, the basic numbers around the pandemic remain encouraging.

The state’s averaged 199 new cases a day over the past seven reporting days — the first time it’s fallen below 200 since April 2020. Five weeks ago, it topped 1,500 a day.

The newest count of known, active COVID-19 cases came in at 1,659, hovering at April 2020 levels. Minnesota had more than 15,000 such cases on May 1. At one point in November, it topped 50,000.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The Health Department reported 184 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 49 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.

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

Twelve newly reported deaths on Friday put Minnesota’s pandemic toll at 7,496. 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 has recorded 603,466 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 177 posted Friday.

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.

Case counts had crept up across the state during April following a massive spike in late November and early December. Now, though, the numbers 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 60.8 percent completely vaccinated and 65.6 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. While there’s some evidence that the pace is bottoming out, it still looks like it will be late 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

Officials recently noted that more than 70 percent of the 16-and-older population in the Twin Cities metropolitan area had received at least one vaccine dose, but that the rate was below 60 percent in much of the rest of the state, creating a concerning urban-rural vaccination gap.

Map of Minnesota COVID-19 adult vaccination rate

Minnesota has 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 92,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose, about about 32 percent of that population. The pace, though, has fallen following an early surge.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

Friday’s numbers showed just under 70 percent of Minnesotans of Asian descent have been vaccinated. Given the reporting lag for data on race and ethnicity, it’s likely that population has already become the first to cross the 70-percent threshold.

Chart of vaccinations by race

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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