MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health took Sunday off reporting new COVID-19 cases, due to the Easter holiday, but on Monday came back to report 1,385 more cases and 10 more deaths due to the virus.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 527,650 positive cases and 6,885 deaths.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 551 New Cases Reported As Average Positivity Rate Rises To 3%
The state’s rolling average positivity rate is now at 5.6%. A 5% rate or higher indicates caution for authorities working to determine what restrictions should apply to venues. Additionally, the rate of community spread — or cases with no known exposure — is as high as has ever been tallied and rising, with 45% of cases falling into that category. The line of caution is drawn at 20%.
Hospitalization figures continue to also rise, with an average of 8.2 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. Anything above 8 hospitalizations per 100,000 is considered high risk.
The latest figures of those hospitalized show 110 Minnesotans in ICU. Near the beginning of March, that figure dipped below 40.
According to Minnesota’s health department, Minnesota processed 36,843 COVID tests since the last reported figures. Since the pandemic began, more than 3.7 million Minnesotans have been tested.
Dr. Michael Osterholm recently appeared on cable news to talk about the rising cases of the U.K. variant and the race to get more vaccinated. Dr. Osterholm said he believes, in some ways, we’re almost in a new pandemic.READ MORE: 'Pure Mask Sweatiness': Students Face Masking Up Again For In-Person Learning
“We are the only country in the world right now experiencing this increasing number of cases due to this variant, and at the same time opening up, not closing down. And the two basically are going to collide,” Osterholm said.
He says the good news is the vaccines in the U.S. protect against the variant B117.
As of Monday, Minnesota has administered about 2.89 million doses of vaccine, with 1,164,187 people having completed the entire vaccine series. Roughly 1.8 million Minnesotans, or a bit over one-third of the state’s overall population, have received at least one dose.
The current tally also indicates that 83% of seniors (age 65 and older) in Minnesota are now vaccinated. The state also reports that 41% of Minnesotans age 16 and older have already received at least one dose.
The state has a Vaccine Connector program to help notify you when a vaccine becomes available to you. People who sign up for the connector may also be randomly selected for one of the state’s community vaccination sites.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: State Officials Recommend Masks In Schools, Regardless Of Vaccination Status
Wisconsin has also opened vaccination to its population age 16 and above.