MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As more relaxed COVID restrictions are set to go into effect after 11:59 Friday night, Minnesota health officials have reported 2,737 cases and 65 deaths due to the virus.
The new numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health show that the state has now seen 391,889 total cases of COVID and 4,723 deaths. The majority of the deaths – 65% – have taken place in long-term care facilities. Of the deaths reported Friday, 36 took place in an assisted living or group home setting, while one took place in a jail.
Hospitalization numbers have been dropping ever since they peaked in late November. There are currently 1,144 people in hospitals across the state with the virus, of which 270 are in the ICU. Nearly 90% of ICU and non-ICU beds are in use state-wide, according to the response capacity dashboard.
For the first time since the end of October, the state’s rolling seven-day average positivity rate has dropped into the “caution” category, at 9.7%. According to the public health risk measures dashboard (which dates back to Dec. 9 due to data lag), the state has been above above 10% – at “high risk” – since Oct. 28, and peaked at 15.5% in early November. However, community spread – the percent of cases which do not know where they got the virus – remains high at 35.8%.
Crediting the lower daily cases and the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine, which was administered to some health care workers earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced a new set of loosened restrictions to go into effect after 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Restaurants, bars, and taprooms must remain closed for indoor dining, but can operate outdoor dining at 50% capacity. Gyms, which had been shut down for the last month, may operate at 25% capacity, and in-person learning can resume for all elementary schools starting on Jan. 18. Walz signed a $216 million COVID relief bill for small businesses as well as a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits on Wednesday.
In the last 24 hours, nearly 64,000 COVID tests were processed. Over five million tests have been administered since March.
Of the people who have contracted COVID, 360,868 no longer need to self-isolate.
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