MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has plateaued, the rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to trend downward.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 150 new cases of the virus and eight more deaths. The state’s cumulative case count now stands at 603,144 while the death toll has reached 7,477.
Since early April, when the state experienced a peak in infections attributed to the variant first discovered in the U.K., the rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped significantly — to some of the lowest levels seen since the pandemic started over a year ago.
According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the seven-day average of new cases dipped just below the threshold for caution, which health officials define as five new cases per 100,000 residents. The hospitalization rate, meanwhile, is just above the caution threshold, four hospitalizations per 100,000 residents.
As of last week, the average positivity rate was 2.3% — the lowest it’s been since the start of the pandemic. In the last 24 hours, 10,459 tests were processed in Minnesota, suggesting a daily positivity rate of 1.43% on Tuesday.
In earlier stages of the vaccine rollout, state officials aimed to have 70% of Minnesotans 16 and older vaccinated by July 1. Currently, 65% of Minnesotans in that demographic have had at least one shot and just over 60% have completed their vaccine series.
Last month, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children as young as 12. In Minnesota, nearly 17,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 15 have completed the vaccine series so far.
When accounting for all Minnesotans currently eligible for the vaccine, nearly 50% of the state’s population is inoculated against COVID-19.