MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A day after Gov. Tim Walz announced the next steps of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Minnesota, state health officials reported 1,156 additional cases and 12 deaths.
As of Thursday, there have been 1,212,816 vaccine doses administered in the state. Roughly 7.3% of the population has received both doses of the vaccine series, and 45% of those 65 and older have received at least one dose.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 482,978 cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota and 6,462 total fatalities. All of the deaths reported on Friday involved a person 60 years or older, and five of the deaths took place in a long-term care or assisted living facility.
According to the Dial Back Dashboard, the state’s rolling average positivity rate has dropped to 3.7% as of Feb. 17, the lowest it’s been since the end of June. However, the community spread is higher than ever before; 46% of cases do not know where they contracted the virus.
Hospitalizations are on the decline, dropping to 6.3 admissions per 100,000 residents. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 263 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, of which 60 were in the ICU. Over 25,683 cases have required hospitalization since the pandemic began.
In the last 24 hours, the state has processed nearly 40,000 COVID-19 tests. More than 3.4 million Minnesotans have been tested for the virus since last March.
On Thursday, Walz announced a more detailed vaccination timeline for the state. After 70% of Minnesotans ages 65 and older receive the vaccine – a phase Walz expects to complete by the end of March – eligibility will expand to include people with high-risk health conditions and workers at food processing plants.
However, pending approval from the FDA, the state expects 338,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, as well as more doses from Pfizer and Moderna, which have amped up production. Walz said the timeline did not account for these factors and thus more people could be eligible sooner.
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