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The daily coronavirus update: 82 more deaths, 4,539 new cases in Minnesota

A bump in cases and deaths that has been anticipated in the wake of Thanksgiving is expected to start to show this week. 

COVID-19
COVID-19
Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert

MinnPost provides updates on coronavirus in Minnesota Sunday through Friday. The information is published following a press phone call with members of the Walz administration or after the release of daily COVID-19 figures by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Here are the latest updates from Dec. 9, 2020:

363,719 confirmed cases; 4,109 deaths

Eighty-two more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 4,109. 

The jump to more than 80 deaths reported Wednesday follows two consecutive days with fewer than 25 reported deaths. A bump in cases and deaths anticipated in the wake of Thanksgiving is expected to start to show this week, said MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann. The full brunt of any holiday uptick should arrive next week. 

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That uptick may never come, though, because warnings to skip holiday travel may have persuaded more people to stay home, though that won’t be clear until another week or so. “What we found over time with Fourth of July and Labor Day, and all these large events, is that it really is three to four weeks before we see the true impact,” Ehresmann said during a Wednesday press conference.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, 20 were in their 90s, 30 in their 80s, 22 in their 70s, eight in their 60s, and two in their 40s. Fifty-one of the 82 people whose deaths were announced Wednesday were residents of long-term care facilities.

MDH also said Wednesday that there have been 363,719 total cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 4,539 from Tuesday’s count and based on 39,591 new tests. The seven-day positivity average, which lags by a week, is 13.1 percent, up from 10.9 percent the week prior. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

The most recent data available show 358 Minnesotans are hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19, and 1,187 are in the hospital with COVID-19 not in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

More information on cases can be found here.

MDH says vaccine rollout still being determined

Exact details of the vaccine rollout are still being ironed out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm on  Wednesday.

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The CDC’s advisory body is also waiting to move forward until it receives reports from the Food and Drug Administration on the two vaccines up for approval, one produced by Pfizer and one by Moderna. Both biopharmaceutical companies released studies indicating their vaccines are 95 percent effective.

On Wednesday, Malcolm also tried to quell misconceptions about individual people paying for the vaccine. She said the federal government will pay manufacturers for doses, which will be administered for free, likely through various systems of reimbursement for people with and without health insurance. She also provided a timeline for the first phase, noting that inoculating “the very highest priority subsets,” including healthcare workers and long term care inhabitants, will take several weeks. 

But she said she could confirm little else until federal regulators wrap up their reviews. 

“The federal government still hasn’t given final, final approval, and when they do there are likely to be some conditions attached to that approval,” said Malcolm. 

In the meantime, Malcolm urged Minnesotans to continue to stick to preventive measures, and thwart the temptation to forgo restrictions in light of vaccine news. 

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MDH’s coronavirus website: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

MDH’s phone line for COVID-19 questions, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m: 651-297-1304

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