COVID-19 in MN: Active case counts, positive test rate stuck at high levels

A woman in a mask fills a syringe with vaccine from a vial
CentraCare nurse Kylee Ressemann pre-fills syringes with the Moderna vaccination for COVID-19 in April at First Presbyterian Church in Foley, Minn.
Paul Middlestaedt | MPR News file

3 things to know:

  • 3,378 newly confirmed or probable cases, 35 newly reported deaths

  • 24,802 known, active cases; 982 currently hospitalized

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

Updated 12:39 p.m.

It’s hard to find much good news right now in Minnesota’s COVID-19 data. The newest numbers offer fresh evidence the disease remains dug in across the state.

Known, active cases rose to 24,802 on Friday — close to the highest count for all of 2021. The seven-day average for new daily cases dipped slightly from Thursday but remains high.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive remains above 7 percent, according to MPR News calculations. It’s down slightly from midweek but it's still the highest Friday average of the year and remains higher than the 5 percent officials find concerning.

Hospitalizations are down slightly from their recent highs — but still relatively high. They’re about equally distributed between greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area.

Graph showing COVID-19 hospitalizations by region

Bed counts had topped 1,000 earlier in October, putting huge pressure on the state’s short-staffed care systems. Hospitalizations have been moving back and forth over that threshold since. There are 982 people in Minnesota hospitals now with COVID; 235 need intensive care.

State public health leaders continue to emphasize that Minnesota’s COVID-19 numbers are stuck at relatively high levels and another surge is possible. They continue to plead with Minnesotans to stay vigilant against the disease and get vaccinated if eligible.

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Driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the entire state shows a high level of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by age

The state's death toll stands at 8,828, including 35 deaths newly reported on Friday. Deaths typically follow a surge in cases and hospitalizations. In past COVID-19 waves, it’s been the last of the key metrics to improve.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

Thanks to vaccinations, Minnesota remains better positioned now than during its fall and spring spikes. Seventy-four percent of state residents age 12 and older have received at least one vaccination shot, with more than 70 percent now completely vaccinated.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

The state is seeing progress in getting booster shots into Minnesotans who’ve already been vaccinated.

New COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped and given.

However, the struggle continues to get more Minnesotans vaccinated. Wide gaps remain in the vaccination rates among regions and counties.

Map of Minnesota COVID-19 eligible vaccination rate

State officials are shifting their vaccination focus now to some of the state’s youngest soon-to-be eligible residents.

Correction (Nov. 5, 2021): An earlier version of this story described Friday’s active case count as the highest in 2021. A higher count was recorded on Oct. 8.