MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The FDA has authorized the Pfizer COVID vaccine for emergency use, and health officials in Minnesota have reported an additional 4,447 cases and 67 deaths.
The Minnesota Department of Health data reported Saturday bring the state’s total to 375,398 cases and 4,359 deaths since March.
Of the 67 most recent deaths, 29 took place in a private residence, 37 were in a long-term care facility, and one took place in a jail.
Since March, a total of 19,428 cases have been hospitalized due to the virus, with 4,213 of those cases in the ICU. The virus is impacting health care systems across the state, but Gov. Tim Walz has said that health care workers will be among the first to get the COVID vaccine, along with long-term care residents.
In the last 24 hours, over 50,000 COVID tests were processed in various labs across the state. More than 4.8 million tests have been processed since March, and over 2.7 million people have been tested in Minnesota.
Testing is one of the most effective ways to combat the virus, health officials have said, and testing sites continue to open state-wide, including a new drive-thru rapid test location at the Mall of America. The test, which provides results in 30 minutes, costs $99, but some insurances cover it. Free community test sites are also open throughout Minnesota.
The state is entering the last week of a four-week round a restrictions which have targeted active spreaders of COVID, including bars, restaurants, and gyms. Walz said is waiting for guidance from experts before making a decision whether to extend the restrictions or not. He will announce the plans on Wednesday.
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