Daily COVID-19 update: Uptick in average daily case counts
The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported each day in Minnesota steadily dropped through most of December.
As the new year begins, though, that decline might be stalling. State health officials will be watching closely in the coming days and weeks to see whether it’s a momentary pause, or a more lasting change in the trajectory of the pandemic.
Averaged over the past week, Minnesota is seeing about 1,895 new COVID cases a day. That’s up from about 1,700 earlier in the week — though still a huge decline from averages that exceeded 7,000 a day in late November.
The test positivity rate is up in recent days, too — averaged over the past week it was about 7.1 percent on Saturday, up from about 4.7 percent on Dec. 27.
It’s too early to tell whether those upticks will endure, but it’s something that will be closely monitored. Officials already were watching for signs of any case increases that might be tied to end-of-year holiday gatherings.
COVID-19 vaccinations continue around the state; as of Saturday’s update from the Minnesota Department of Health, just over 57,000 people had received at least one of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Health care workers and long-term care facility residents have priority for the limited number of doses currently available.
The state has so far received nearly 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and nearly 128,000 of the Moderna vaccine.
COVID updates from state health officials resumed Saturday, after a break on Friday for the New Year’s Day holiday. Saturday’s update includes data from Thursday; Sunday’s update will include two days’ worth of data, from Friday and Saturday.
Here are Minnesota’s current COVID-19 statistics, reported on Saturday:
- 5,377 deaths (54 new)
- 417,832 positive cases (2,543 new), 398,199 off isolation (95 percent)
- 5.6 million tests, 3 million people tested (about 52 percent of the population)
- 7.1 percent seven-day positive test rate (officials find 5 percent concerning)
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 79,000 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
- Faribault County: nine new lab-confirmed cases, two probable cases; 922 total cases
- Freeborn County: 25 new lab-confirmed cases; 2,017 total cases
The Freeborn County Public Health Department reported of the total cases, 102 are considered active cases. One new person has been hospitalized, and 99 people have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.
The new cases included the following:
• One person between 0 and 4
• Two people between 10 and 14
• Three people in their 20s
• Six people in their 30s
• Two people in their 40s
• Four people in their 50s
• Five people in their 60s
• One person in their 80s
• One person in their 90s
- Mower County: 22 new lab-confirmed cases; 3,343 total cases
- Steele County: 16 new lab-confirmed cases; 2,528 total cases
- Waseca County: 16 new lab-confirmed cases, one new probable case; 1,772 total cases
Minnesota COVID-19 cases, deaths
|County||Total confirmed cases||Total probable cases||Total cases||Total deaths|
|Lac qui Parle||561||46||607||15|
|Lake of the Woods||147||5||152||1|
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