June 17 update on COVID-19: Pandemic trends solid; vaccinations crawl

A person wears a Superman mask.
CentraCare employee Mahado Ali watches as people visited the Islamic Center of St. Cloud in April to receive the vaccination shot for COVID-19.
Paul Middlestaedt | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • New and active case counts hover at April 2020 lows

  • 66 percent of 16-and-older population with at least one vaccine shot; 61.8 percent completely vaccinated

  • Half of the state’s total population now completely vaccinated

Updated 11:37 a.m.

Minnesota’s newest COVID-19 numbers continue to show key metrics trending in the right direction — down.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday slipped to its lowest level since April 2020. Known, active case counts may drop below 1,000 this week — Minnesota had 15,000 such cases last month.

The stumbling vaccination pace remains a worry. Officials once felt confident the state could get at least one dose into 70 percent of the 16-and-older population by July 1. Now it’s likely early August. Minnesota’s also seeing big regional gaps in vaccination rates.

On the plus side, the Minnesota Health Department reported that half of the state’s total population is now completely vaccinated.

A line chart.

New, active cases stay at April 2020 lows

State public health leaders had once worried the end of the statewide masking mandate last month might deliver an uptick in COVID-19 cases, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Known, active cases came in at 1,158 in Thursday’s data. The state averaged 139 new cases a day over the past seven reporting days. Both figures continue to hover around lows from April 2020.

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Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The Health Department reports 152 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 44 in intensive care. Daily hospital admissions are trending near their lowest point since data collection began in the weeks last year after the first COVID-19 case was discovered.

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

Four newly reported deaths on Thursday pushed Minnesota’s pandemic toll to 7,527. 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 604,184 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 142 posted Thursday.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

About 99 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.

3 million vaccinated, but pace crawls

More than 2.9 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose. More than 2.7 million are completely vaccinated. That works out to about 61.8 percent completely vaccinated and 66 percent with at least one shot, including 90 percent of people 65 and older.

Add in the more than 97,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose, and Minnesota’s topped 3 million residents with one or more shots.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

The vaccination pace, however, is stumbling forward at this point. If it continues to crawl, it will be early August before the state reaches 70 percent of adults with at least one shot, a goal public health leaders once hoped could by ready by the end of June.

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 eligible vaccination rate

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.