COVID-19 in MN: Summer wave grinds on toward the fall

Denise Thiede, a registered nurse, fills up a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a mobile vaccine clinic held in Winthrop, Minn., on July 16.
Hannah Yang | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • 2,138 newly confirmed or probable cases; 5 newly reported deaths

  • 13,829 known, active cases; 626 currently hospitalized

  • 71.9 percent of 16-and-older residents with at least one vaccine dose

Minnesota’s late-summer COVID-19 wave is spilling over into early September, continuing a slow-motion climb toward a crest, although it’s still not clear when that’s coming.

The state’s averaged a little more than 1,600 new cases per day over the past seven reporting days — more than three times the count at the start of August and dramatically higher than the 91 daily at the start of July.

Cases have accelerated through the late summer, driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

Known, active cases averaged more than 9,000 over the past week. Single-day counts of active cases have leaped over the past two months, from 780 on July 1 to nearly 14,000 in Friday’s report.

The rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is trending at 5.52 percent, remaining above the 5 percent threshold that public health officials find concerning.

Hospital and intensive care needs have risen during this summer wave, although they still haven’t reached peak counts seen in the fall and spring — 626 people are in hospital beds currently with COVID-19, including 163 needing intensive care.

ICU numbers has been somewhat stable the past few days. During the mid-April wave, 202 patients at one point needed ICU beds.

The Minnesota Health Department on Friday added five newly reported deaths, bringing the state’s toll in the pandemic to 7,844. The state’s averaged about six deaths daily over the past week.

Minnesota remains better positioned now than during the fall and spring spikes. More than 70 percent of state residents age 12 and older have received at least one vaccination shot, and two-thirds of that population are completely vaccinated.

More than half of every eligible age group in Minnesota has at least one dose of vaccine.

Still, it remains a slow march to get more Minnesotans vaccinated, and wide gaps remain in the vaccination rate among state regions.

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