MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A day after the Food and Drug Administration panel endorsed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, health officials in Minnesota reported 3,773 more virus cases and 94 deaths – the second highest daily fatalities recorded so far.
The new numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health bring the state’s cumulative case count to 370,968. A total of 4,292 people have died from the virus since March. Though the virus is known to impact elderly people in long-term care settings, two people between the ages of 35 and 39 in Anoka and Nicollet counties were among those reported deceased in Friday’s report.
On Thursday, a 66-year-old incarcerated man at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault died of COVID, and a 63-year-old from the Moose Lake facility died from the virus as well.
There are currently 1,461 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, with 343 in the ICU. Hospital beds remain limited, as only 2% are available in the metro area. Statewide, 92% of ICU beds are in use and 90% of non-ICU beds are in use, according to the Response Capacity Dashboard.
According to the public health risk measures dashboard, the seven-day average rolling positivity rate sits at 13.1% as of Dec. 2, due to data lag. The number had been falling, reaching a low of 10.7% as of Nov. 25. But the day after, Nov. 26, was Thanksgiving, and health officials said they expected to see a surge in cases as families and friends gathered together, despite Center for Disease Control and state recommendations against holiday gatherings.
In the last 24 hours, the state has processed 58,497 COVID tests. New sites are still opening throughout the state, including a new drive-thru rapid testing site at the Mall of America. The tests provide a result with 96.7% accuracy often in less than 30 minutes. Unlike other free community testing sites, the rapid tests at MOA will cost a person $99, though people can check with their insurance to see if the cost is covered.
Small businesses are struggling due to ongoing spread of the virus. A representative for Gov. Tim Walz says a deal is close on business relief. Walz announced on Wednesday that he will call a special session on Monday to pass relief for small businesses and working families.
At 2 p.m. on Friday, Walz and Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm, and health care workers will urge Minnesotans to take steps to limit the spread of COVID. You can watch it live on CBSN Minnesota.
Source: CBS Minnesota