MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota health officials on Saturday reported 975 cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths. More than 1 million Minnesotans have received at least one vaccine dose.
The update from the Minnesota Department of Health brings the state’s total case count to 489,116. The state has recorded a cumulative 6,546 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of which – 63% – have taken place in long-term care facilities or group homes. All the deaths reported on Saturday involved a person over the age of 65, and three out of the 12 took place in long-term care settings.
Meanwhile, more than 1 million people have received at least one vaccine dose; roughly 18% of the population, and 61% of those 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. Roughly 16% of those between the ages of 50 and 64 have received at least one shot.
“Today, on the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in our state, reaching the milestone of getting the vaccine into the arms of one million Minnesotans is particularly poignant,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “As we reflect on the past year and the thousands of lives lost, we know that every shot in the arm of a Minnesotan brings us one step closer to ending this pandemic.”
Minnesota averages about 42,000 administered vaccines a day, and is ranked as one of the top 10 states for administering all vaccines received from the federal government.
For the first time on Friday, the state released COVID-19 vaccination data by race and ethnicity, revealing that over 90% of those who have received a shot are white, even though white people make up 80% of Minnesota’s population. COVID-19 has predominately impacted communities of color, and Walz addressed the disparities in vaccine distribution on Friday, saying that it is linked to systematic inequities in health care.
“First of all, we focused first and foremost in the health care professions that tend to be predominantly white and that’s another social issue we can talk about,” he said. “Because of health care inequities in the first place, there are a lot more white folks that live over 65 than there are communities of color. So yes, I’m concerned.”
Walz said the data, which is updated weekly on the COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, will inform equitable vaccine distribution strategies going forward.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, over 32,000 COVID-19 tests were processed in the state. More than 3.5 million Minnesotans have been tested for the virus since last March.
A total of 25,976 virus cases have required hospitalization, with 5,364 involving ICU care. Of those who have contracted the virus, 475,170 no longer need to self-isolate.
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