June 23 update on COVID-19 in MN: Caseloads continue retreat as pandemic wanes

A woman puts on a face shield over a face mask.
In December 2020, Environmental services worker Elissa Marty puts on a face shield as part of her PPE before entering the room of a COVID-19 patient to do routine cleaning at St. Mary's Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2020

3 things to know

  • Only 113 hospitalized; active cases drop below 900

  • New cases trending at April 2020 lows; only 84 new cases added Wednesday

  • 66.4 percent of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccine shot; 62.6 percent completely vaccinated

Updated: 11:43 a.m.

Wednesday’s COVID-19 report delivers more evidence the pandemic is firmly in check in Minnesota. New cases, active cases and hospital admissions are all trending at levels not seen since the pandemic’s earliest weeks.

The falling hospitalization counts are especially encouraging. Officials once worried the disease would overwhelm hospitals. In late November, the state was adding nearly 300 new hospital patients daily. Now, it’s averaging 15 a day, the lowest since early April 2020.

COVID-19 watchers continue to keep an eye out for any upswings as the state approaches one month since the end of all remaining statewide COVID-19 capacity limits on bars, restaurants and other public gathering spaces. So far, though, the signs are all good.

The only downside in the data at this point: The vaccination rate continues to sputter, so much so that it will likely be mid-August now before the state reaches its goal of getting at least one shot into 70 percent of residents 16 and older.

Pandemic retreats to April 2020 lows

Known, active COVID-19 cases in Minnesota dropped to 898 in Wednesday’s data, extending a stunning drop over the past seven weeks. On May 1, Minnesota had more than 15,000 active cases.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The state’s averaged about 111 newly reported cases a day over the past week. Both newly reported and active caseloads continue to hover around lows reaching back to April 2020.

Receding caseloads mean fewer hospitalizations. The Health Department reported 113 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota — down by more than half from the start of this month — with 31 needing an intensive care unit bed.

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

Five newly reported deaths on Wednesday pushed Minnesota’s pandemic toll to 7,555. 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 604,758 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including the 84 posted Wednesday.

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 — about 112,000 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’s about 62.6 percent completely vaccinated and 66.4 percent with at least one shot, including 90 percent of people 65 and older.

Add in the nearly 102,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose and Minnesota has topped 3 million residents with one or more shots.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

More than half the state’s total population is now completely vaccinated.

The vaccination pace, however, has slowed to baby steps. It will be mid-August before the state reaches 70 percent of adults with at least one shot, a goal public health leaders once hoped could by reached by the end of June.

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

Minnesota’s also seeing big regional gaps in vaccination rates, with most counties outside the Twin Cities region still below 70 percent.

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.

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