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COVID In Minnesota: Hospitalizations Continue Trending Down As Vaccinations Begin; 21 New Deaths

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at a number of Minnesota hospitals and clinics. About 3,000 doses of the vaccine arrived Monday at the Twin Cities hospital in refrigerated boxes. And a number of people were vaccinated at Cass Lake Indian Health Service on Monday.

Meanwhile, Minnesota health officials are reporting 2,340 more cases of COVID-19 in the state, and 21 additional deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 384,164 total cases in Minnesota, along with 4,483 deaths.

The rolling seven-day positivity rate is down from the 15.5% peak reported two weeks ago, down to 12.4%. That being said, the number of cases determined to be due to community spread — in other words, from no known source — is as high as it’s been since the beginning, at over 37%.

The health department says about 350,000 people who contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine themselves.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been decreasing since peaking in early December. Currently there are about 1,280 patients being hospitalized for the virus as of Sunday; that figure was closer to 1,850 at the end of November. Almost 20,000 people have needed hospitalization for the virus so far, with over 4,000 of those needing ICU beds.

In the last 24 hours, almost 32,000 COVID-19 tests were completed; Tuesday’s figures from the health department typically show a dip in the number of tests processed owing to the weekend. Nearly 2.8 million people have been tested for the virus in Minnesota.

More vaccine shipments are expected throughout the week and beyond, according to health officials. Last week, health officials predicted 180,000 doses would be in Minnesota by the end of the year.

Pfizer’s vaccine was given emergency approval in the U.S. late last week. Moderna’s version of the vaccination has yet to be given emergency approval. Health officials say that both versions of the vaccine will require two doses, roughly a month apart.

The Minnesota Legislature voted Monday night to pass a $216 million relief package aimed at businesses and workers who took the biggest hit from a four-week “pause” ordered by Gov. Tim Walz as increasing coronavirus cases threatened to overload hospitals. The Senate voted 62-4 to approve the bill and sent it to the House, which passed it 117-13 late Monday night and sent it to the governor for his signature.

Walz said he will announce some changes to the current “pause” as it has existed for the last weeks, and will announce those changes Wednesday.


Source: CBS Minnesota

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