Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Case counts are up, but still at low levels

A man receives his COVID-19 vaccine
Abdirahmann Ibraahim receives his COVID-19 vaccine at a walk-in vaccination clinic in April at the Islamic Center of St. Cloud in central Minnesota.
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News file

4 things to know

  • Minnesota is seeing an uptick in cases, likely driven by the delta variant

  • The uptick is relatively minor, and it's unclear how much room cases have to rise given Minnesota's levels of immunity from vaccination and prior infection

  • COVID-19 deaths are showing slow but meaningful declines

  • 67.4 percent of residents 16 and older have at least one vaccine shot; 64.3 percent are completely vaccinated.

Updated: 7:01 p.m.

Minnesota’s COVID-19 case counts have gone up for six straight reporting days in a row, though the increases remain much lower than the height of the pandemic in the winter of 2020.

The latest data Friday showed 140 new cases, slightly higher than counts from the last week of June. The state’s seven-day test positivity rate has crawled above a percentage point this week, with Friday’s numbers showing a rate of 1.1 percent.

Overall caseloads are still hovering near their April 2020 lows.

The numbers delivered perhaps the best news of all — deaths from the disease are trending at their lowest rate since the pandemic’s earliest weeks.

The state averaged fewer than four deaths per day during the most recent reporting week, the first time that’s happened since April 8, 2020. Five new deaths were reported on Friday, following the July 4 holiday weekend having no deaths reported and only two posted on Thursday.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

Metrics hover near pandemic lows

Known, active COVID-19 cases in Minnesota came in at 947 in Friday’s report. The state’s seen cases stay below 1,000 for more than two weeks now, part of a dramatic drop since May 1, when Minnesota had more than 15,000 active cases.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

Receding caseloads mean fewer hospitalizations.

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

Five newly reported deaths raised Minnesota’s pandemic toll to 7,622. Among those who have died, about 59 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems.

The state has recorded 606,297 total confirmed or probable cases in the pandemic, including the 140 posted Friday.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

Roughly 99 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 have recovered to the point where they no longer need to isolate.

Regionally, all parts of Minnesota are in good shape, near record lows.

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 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.

Vaccination pace crawls

More than 3 million residents 16 and older now have at least one vaccine dose.

More than 2.8 million are completely vaccinated. That’s about 64.3 percent of the state’s 16-and-older population completely vaccinated and 67.4 percent with at least one shot, including 91 percent of people 65 and older.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

Add in more than 110,000 12-to-15-year-olds with at least one dose and Minnesota has topped 3 million residents with one or more shots. About 53 percent of the state’s total population is now completely vaccinated.

A line chart.

While Minnesota’s vaccination rate recently showed an uptick, the pace has fallen dramatically since peaking in April and continues to trudge along.

At the current pace, it appears it will be early September before Minnesota reaches the much-discussed milestone of having 70 percent of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose.

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 of adults vaccinated. Wabasha and Fillmore counties in southern Minnesota are the latest to join the 70-percent club.

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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