Covid-19 update: Minnesota officials hope for upswing in vaccinations

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination effort is struggling again for traction following a mild upswing. Officials, though, are anticipating a busy week as some 45,000 weather-delayed shots make their way into the state atop the expected 100,000 doses from the feds.

The state Health Department on Monday reported about 20,000 new vaccinations. The vast majority of those, however, were second doses.

In Freeborn County, 13.1% of the population (more than 4,000) had received at least one dose through Monday, including 55% of Freeborn County residents 65 and older.

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About 13.7% of Minnesotans had received at least one dose, with about 6.4% completely vaccinated. Nearly 42% of Minnesotans 65 and older have received at least one shot.

State public health leaders last week warned the cold snap that gripped the nation recently would also delay vaccine shipments to Minnesota, potentially depressing vaccination counts in the short-term. Some clinics were postponed.

“The good news is that we’re seeing a return to normal on that front,” Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, said Monday. “We hope to be back to normal operations and scheduling in the next week or so.”

Minnesota is currently ranked 19th among states in doses administered per 100,000 people, according to data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Minnesota had been as low as 25th on that ranking.

South-central Minnesota

Freeborn County reported two new lab-confirmed cases on Tuesday, increasing its cumulative cases to 2,759. Of the total, 40 are considered active cases.

There were no new hospitalizations or new deaths Tuesday. The county’s death total from the pandemic stands at 23.

The new cases were people in their 20s and 70s.

The following is an update on other area counties:

  • Faribault County: one new cases; 1,212 total cases
  • Mower County: two new cases; 3,992 total cases
  • Steele County: four new cases; 2,972 total cases
  • Waseca County: three new case; 2,063 total cases

Minnesota reported one more death — none in south-central Minnesota — caused by COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 513 new cases.