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COVID-19 update: Record vaccination numbers over the weekend in Minnesota

Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination effort has accelerated in recent days, with state health officials reporting consecutive days of record vaccination numbers over the weekend.

Saturday’s update from the Minnesota Department of Health showed 56,000 vaccine doses administered in the state — a record soon eclipsed by the 70,000 vaccinations reported on Sunday.

Averaged over the past week, Minnesota is averaging more than 34,000 vaccinations a day — the highest that number has been since vaccinations began in December.

The increased pace comes as vaccine shipments delayed by last month’s severe winter weather finally make their way around the state.

The bump in vaccinations comes after Gov. Tim Walz last week said every Minnesotan should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot by the summer. At the current pace of around 34,000 doses per day, 80 percent of Minnesotans would be able to get a shot by August.

And there’s reason to believe the vaccination rate might continue to increase, with the addition of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose. Shipments of that new vaccine option are expected to begin arriving in states in the next week.

As of Sunday close to 16 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine; close to half of state residents 65 and older have received at least one dose.

Just over 8 percent of Minnesota residents have received both doses to complete their vaccination.

South-central Minnesota

Freeborn County reported four new lab-confirmed cases on Monday, increasing its cumulative cases to 2,805. Of the total, 59 are considered active cases.

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

The new cases included two people in their late teens, and one apiece in their 50s and 90s.

The following is an update on other area counties:

  • Faribault County: one new case; 1,229 total cases
  • Mower County: eight new cases; 4,041 total cases
  • Steele County: two new cases; 2,997 total cases
  • Waseca County: one new case; 2,089 total cases

Minnesota reported three more deaths — none in south-central Minnesota — caused by COVID-19 on Monday, along with 636 new cases.