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Daily COVID-19 update: 18 new deaths, Minnesota waits for restriction rollbacks

Minnesota reported 18 more deaths caused by COVID-19 Tuesday, along with 1,612 new cases, showing slowing trends ahead of an announcement from Gov. Tim Walz that he’ll loosen restrictions on bars and restaurants.

The 18 additional deaths make it the second straight day with a toll of fewer than 20. That hasn’t happened since before Election Day.

At the same time, the state reported only 2,455 new vaccinations, putting the total at 80,857, and keeping vaccinations well behind the number of doses available across the state.

The latest numbers come as Walz plans to announce a rollback of restrictions for indoor dining this week, his office said Monday evening. Minnesota’s current COVID-19 restrictions, including a ban on indoor dining, run through late Sunday.

“Many of them are ready to put in mitigation efforts. But I think this idea that everybody is going to go back in maskless and pack these places, that’s not the way it’s going to look,” the governor said.

He said coronavirus test positivity rates are lower than they were when the restrictions were imposed, and hospitals aren’t under as much strain. Walz said he personally would feel comfortable eating at a restaurant once indoor table service resumes.

Walz is expected to announce his next steps during a live address at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The announcement comes as Minnesota health officials say the state expects to receive enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate all its health care workers and most nursing-home residents by the end of January.

While enough vaccines are available for a first shot for all health care workers designated for phase 1A, which covers health care professionals, long-term care residents and others most likely to encounter the coronavirus, Ehresmann said it would take through the month of January to complete the first round.

Case numbers have been mostly stable, although Monday marks a notable upturn. That said, state data show unusual deviations in other areas, like the percent of positive tests. That’s often a sign of data anomalies that can be linked to holiday reporting schedules.

New hospital admissions jumped to 157, slightly over the seven day average for new hospitalizations of 122.

Caseloads spread across age groups

People in their 20s still make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — more than 80,000 since the pandemic began, including more than 42,000 among people ages 20 to 24.

The number of high school-age youth confirmed with the disease has also grown, with more than 32,000 total cases among those ages 15 to 19 since the pandemic began.

Although less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease and end up hospitalized, experts worry youth and young adults will spread it to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations.

It’s of particular concern because people can have the coronavirus and spread COVID-19 when they don’t have symptoms.

New cases ebb across Minnesota

Central and western Minnesota drove much of the increase in new cases over the past two months, while Hennepin and Ramsey counties showed some of the slowest case growth in the state.

Cases continue to fall statewide, with most regions dipping down to levels before the state’s COVID-19 surge that hit in November and early December.

Hot spots continue to pop up in rural counties relative to their population.

Caseloads still heaviest among people of color

In Minnesota and across the country, COVID-19 has hit communities of color disproportionately hard in both cases and deaths. That’s been especially true for Minnesotans of Hispanic descent for much of the pandemic.

Even as new case counts ease from their peak a few weeks ago, the data shows people of color continue to be hit hardest.

Distrust of the government, together with deeply rooted health and economic disparities, have hampered efforts to boost testing among communities of color, officials say, especially among unauthorized immigrants who fear their personal information may be used to deport them.

Similar trends have been seen among Minnesota’s Indigenous residents. Counts among Indigenous people jumped in October relative to population.

South-central Minnesota update

After reporting 46 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, Freeborn Count reported 18 new cases on Tuesday, increasing the county’s cumulative case count to 2,094. Of that number, 162 are considered active cases.

Four new people were reported hospitalized since Monday, increasing the total people who have been hospitalized at some point during their illness to 103.

The new cases included the following:

• One person between 0 and 4

• One person between 5 and 9

• Two people between 15 and 19

• Two people in their 20s

• Three people in their 30s

• Three people in their 40s

• Five people in their 50s

• One person in their 70s

The following are updates on other area counties:

• Faribault County: five new lab-confirmed cases; 954 total cases

• Mower County: 14 new lab-confirmed cases; 3,392 total cases

• Steele County: five new lab-confirmed cases; 2,551 total cases

• Waseca County: 10 new lab-confirmed cases; 1,806 total cases

 

Minnesota COVID-19 cases, deaths

County Total confirmed cases Total probable cases Total cases Total deaths
Aitkin 1,012 23 1,035 32
Anoka 27,559 2,076 29,635 335
Becker 2,673 52 2,725 37
Beltrami 2,807 132 2,939 44
Benton 3,829 175 4,004 82
Big Stone 439 9 448 3
Blue Earth 5,112 41 5,153 30
Brown 2,002 42 2,044 32
Carlton 2,348 327 2,675 38
Carver 6,275 317 6,592 34
Cass 1,925 41 1,966 20
Chippewa 1,258 34 1,292 30
Chisago 4,081 214 4,295 28
Clay 6,208 72 6,280 78
Clearwater 644 22 666 14
Cook 108 0 108 0
Cottonwood 1,149 81 1,230 15
Crow Wing 4,537 66 4,603 67
Dakota 29,910 1,224 31,134 285
Dodge 1,205 5 1,210 4
Douglas 3,431 137 3,568 63
Faribault 945 9 954 11
Fillmore 1,119 15 1,134 2
Freeborn 2,084 10 2,094 18
Goodhue 3,157 39 3,196 49
Grant 406 3 409 7
Hennepin 85,540 2,837 88,377 1,408
Houston 1,170 47 1,217 13
Hubbard 1,388 26 1,414 37
Isanti 2,546 160 2,706 33
Itasca 2,684 40 2,724 40
Jackson 756 48 804 8
Kanabec 922 21 943 18
Kandiyohi 5,390 49 5,439 66
Kittson 306 36 342 18
Koochiching 545 11 556 9
Lac qui Parle 577 47 624 15
Lake 519 47 566 15
Lake of the Woods 152 5 157 1
Le Sueur 1,973 22 1,995 15
Lincoln 454 8 462 1
Lyon 2,822 70 2,892 29
Mahnomen 396 1 397 7
Marshall 667 16 683 13
Martin 1,576 27 1,603 25
McLeod 3,086 49 3,135 40
Meeker 1,883 27 1,910 32
Mille Lacs 2,000 69 2,069 43
Morrison 2,867 116 2,983 43
Mower 3,347 45 3,392 25
Murray 726 47 773 5
Nicollet 2,082 45 2,127 33
Nobles 3,490 63 3,553 46
Norman 411 2 413 8
Olmsted 9,610 41 9,651 64
Otter Tail 4,154 156 4,310 53
Pennington 838 76 914 14
Pine 2,428 120 2,548 12
Pipestone 854 31 885 21
Polk 3,026 193 3,219 52
Pope 692 5 697 4
Ramsey 36,639 1,348 37,987 698
Red Lake 271 41 312 4
Redwood 1,298 29 1,327 26
Renville 1,273 51 1,324 39
Rice 5,589 76 5,665 57
Rock 967 76 1,043 10
Roseau 1,506 114 1,620 14
Scott 10,915 365 11,280 85
Sherburne 7,380 497 7,877 58
Sibley 1,008 34 1,042 5
St. Louis 12,350 574 12,924 213
Stearns 16,721 528 17,249 175
Steele 2,543 8 2,551 9
Stevens 670 8 678 7
Swift 787 22 809 16
Todd 2,237 21 2,258 27
Traverse 192 29 221 2
Wabasha 1,559 9 1,568 2
Wadena 1,109 41 1,150 12
Waseca 1,799 7 1,806 15
Washington 18,324 686 19,010 198
Watonwan 1,029 7 1,036 7
Wilkin 573 20 593 9
Winona 3,626 38 3,664 45
Wright 10,330 741 11,071 90
Yellow Medicine 836 62 898 14
Unknown/missing 405 24 429 0