MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesota leaders consider when to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days, state health officials reported Thursday 1,921 more cases of the virus and 15 more deaths. Meanwhile, nearly 57% of Minnesotans 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose while 42% are fully vaccinated.
The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health shows the cumulative coronavirus case count in the state stands at 573,938 while the death toll has reached 7,128. In the last 24 hours, 49,418 tests were processed, suggesting a daily positivity rate of 3.8%.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Positivity Rate Falls To 5%; 14 New Deaths Reported In Last Day
Following a spike in cases over the last month, when the state ranked No. 2 in the nation for variant cases, the positivity rate has steadily dropped. According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the rolling seven-day average positivity was at 6.4% as of April 20. That’s still above the state’s “caution” threshold but down from 7.5% on April 8.
The state remains at “high risk” for community spread. As of April 20, the seven-day rolling average of cases with no known exposure was at 44%.READ MORE: Best Buy, Hy-Vee No Longer Requiring Masks For Fully Vaccinated Customers, Employees
As of Wednesday, 644 people were battling COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals, with 176 patients in intensive care beds. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 30,000 people have been hospitalized for the virus in Minnesota, with more than 6,000 patients requiring ICU care.
Each day, more and more Minnesotans are vaccinated against the virus. So far, 2,507,381 doses have been administered in the state. Earlier this week, health officials urged Minnesotans ages 16 and 17 to get vaccinated, as greater case growth has been observed among their demographic. So far, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for teens in that age group.
On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz said that COVID-19 restrictions in the state could be loosened this week or early next week. He said that while daily numbers are still high due to the recent spike, they are decreasing.MORE NEWS: Twin Cities Concert Bookers 'Working Fast And Furious' To Bring In Shows As COVID Restrictions End
The last rollback of COVID restrictions came last month, when capacity limits for bars and restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues were boosted. The governor did not detail what restrictions might be lifted next.