MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As the U.S. has reached 100,000 hospitalizations due to COVID, Minnesota health officials reported 6,166 positive cases and 92 deaths, the second-highest daily death count the state has seen.
According to Minnesota Department of Health data, the new numbers bring the state’s total case count to 333,626. A total of 3,784 Minnesotans have died from the virus since March, with 2,522 of those deaths taking place in long-term care facilities.
The deaths recorded Thursday comprised of people between the ages of 50 and 99. Forty-two of them died in a private residence, and one person died in a prison.
Hospital beds across the state remain limited; in the metro area, there are 39 ICU beds available. In total, 91% of the ICU beds state-wide are currently in use. The number of ICU and non-ICU beds in use has dipped recently; there were 376 people in ICU beds as of Wednesday, and 1,394 people in non-ICU beds with COVID.
Since March, 17,623 have been hospitalized due to the virus, with 3,911 cases in intensive care.
In the past 24 hours, various labs across the state have processed over 50,000 COVID tests. Free, walk-in COVID testing is also expanding, with a new saliva testing site opening in Worthington on Thursday.
According to the public health risk measures dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate is now at 10.9% as of Nov. 24, due to data lag. The number has fallen from the 15.6% reported on Nov. 11. Additionally, the daily new cases per 100,000 residents has fallen to 109.1, down from 123 on Nov. 11. However, any number of 10 cases per 100,000 residents is considered “high risk.”
Though the numbers improving, health officials warn that Thanksgiving travel and the household gatherings could lead to a surge in cases over the coming weeks.
Outlook For Vaccines In Minnesota
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz and health commissioner Jan Malcolm held a news conference about the COVID vaccine. They said the first group to get it, 1A, will be comprised of health care workers, long-term care workers, and long-term care residents. First responders, including firefighters and police, would be in the second wave, 1B. Walz and Malcolm said the state must follow federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines about vaccine distribution.
The first shipment of a vaccine is expected in Minnesota next week, though the FDA’s vaccine panel have still to review the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and authorize them for use. The panel, which is comprised of independent experts, will meet on Dec. 10 to review the Pfizer vaccine, and a similar meeting will take place on Dec. 17 to discuss the Moderna vaccine.
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Source: CBS Minnesota