MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota health officials reported 2,772 new COVID cases and 57 deaths hours after a new set of relaxed COVID restrictions went into effect in the state.
Gov. Tim Walz’s new round of restrictions keeps restaurants, bars, and taprooms closed for indoor dining, but allows outdoor service at 50% capacity, or up to 100 people. Gyms may reopen at 25% capacity, and all elementary schools may reopen for in-person learning starting on Jan. 18. When he made the announcement on Wednesday, he also signed a $216 million economic relief package to support small businesses and workers impacted by the pandemic.
The numbers released from Minnesota Department of Health bring the state’s total COVID case count to 394,635 and 4,780 cumulative deaths. Elderly populations and long-term care residents are especially impacted by this virus; of the new deaths reported Saturday, 34 took place in an assisted living facility.
A total of 20,468 people have been hospitalized for the virus, of which 4,392 have been in the ICU. Hospitalizations have been dropping throughout the month of December, after they peaked in late November.
Late Friday, the FDA authorized the Moderna vaccine for emergency use, offering a new source of hope in the nation’s fight against the pandemic. The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered in the state on Monday.
Nearly 37,000 COVID tests have been processed in the last 24 hours. Over 2.8 million Minnesotans have been tested for the virus since March.
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