MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials on Sunday reported 2,714 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 more deaths.
The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health combines the numbers from Friday and Saturday, as data wasn’t posted over the New Year’s Day holiday. The updated data shows the state’s cumulative COVID-19 case count stands at 420,544 while the death toll has climbed to 5,430.
Of the most recent fatalities, 35 were residents in long-term care facilities. This demographic has suffered the majority of the state’s COVID-19 deaths, making up about 65% of the virus’ victims in Minnesota.
In Minnesota hospitals, nearly 700 patients were battling the virus as of Thursday, with 196 people in intensive care beds. These numbers are down substantially from highs reached in late November, when more than 1,800 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, with about 400 people in intensive care.
During the course of the last month, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate dropped from 13% to 5%. The state’s weekly average of COVID-19 tests per 100,000 residents has also dropped markedly.
In recent weeks, the first COVID-19 vaccine doses were shipped to Minnesota and administered to frontline health care workers and those in long-term care facilities. The vaccines will be offered to more groups of people in coming weeks, but it isn’t likely to be available to the general public for months.
Later this week, the Minnesota Legislature will convene. Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, has relied on executive orders to implement COVID-19 restrictions, and that hasn’t sat well with Republican lawmakers. They want more say in how the state handles the re-opening of businesses and schools.
While Walz is allowing elementary students to return to classrooms this month, Republicans are pushing for all students to be back in classes sooner than later.
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