COVID-19 in MN: Positivity rate drops just below 5 percent

A young person with a mask gets a vaccine is his arm.
Lucas Ashley receives his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Lily Thomas at Lionsgate Academy in Minnetonka, Minn., on June 28.
Evan Frost | MPR News

3 things to know

  • 1,163 newly confirmed cases reported Wednesday; five newly reported deaths

  • Positive test rate falls just below 5 percent after Tuesday’s spike

  • New incentives, requirements offered to complete vaccinations

Updated: 12:24 p.m.

After a high number of cases reported Tuesday from the weekend, Wednesday’s data reveal cases and positivity rates slightly retreating during this fourth wave in the pandemic.

Minnesota Department of Health data showed the state averaging just under 1,200 new cases per day over the last seven reporting days, up significantly from about 91 cases daily at the start of July. Known active cases in that stretch have gone from 780 to back above 9,000.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The rate of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 in the past reporting week is now at 4.90 percent, declining slightly from the 5 percent threshold that officials find concerning.

Percent of COVID-19 tests to come back positive

With the rise of the highly contagious delta variant, many institutions around the state are reinstating indoor masking.

Federal health officials also recommended on Wednesday that all Americans get a booster shot to shore up their protection from the delta variant eight months after receiving their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Third doses could be offered beginning the week of Sept. 20.

Thanks to vaccinations, Minnesota is in a much better position than in November or April. The state has reached 70 percent of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccination shot as of last Thursday. That offers some hope this wave will remain relatively mild.

Deaths also remain fairly moderate even as cases and hospitalizations have risen. Wednesday’s data records five newly reported deaths. That moves the seven-day average down to about 3.85 deaths caused by the coronavirus.

On the downside, data shows this current wave is hitting Black Minnesotans especially hard.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by race

About 70.6 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the latest data; 66.6 percent are completely vaccinated. Add in almost 114,000 12-to-15-year-olds and Minnesota counts over 3.05 million people completely vaccinated.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

Among those vaccinated, over 7,100 people — well below 1 percent — have gone on to get COVID-19 with 584 ending up hospitalized and 60 dying. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the data on breakthrough cases is “amazing evidence” of the vaccines’ protection.


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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