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The daily coronavirus update: 67 more deaths, 81,167 Minnesotans have received a vaccine

The most recent seven-day positivity rate, which lags by a week, is 6.5 percent, up slightly from a recent low of 4.7 percent.

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 Jan. 6, 2020:

Sixty-seven more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 5,528.

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Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, four were over 100 years old, 18 were in their 90s, 25 were in their 80s, 11 were in their 70s, five were in their 60s, three were in their 50s and one was in their 40s. Forty of the 67 people whose deaths announced Wednesday were residents of long-term care facilities.

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 427,587 total cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. That number is up 2,326 from the total announced on Tuesday and is based on 23,880 new tests. The most recent seven-day positivity rate, which lags by a week, is 6.5 percent, up slightly from a recent low of 4.7 percent. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

In vaccine news, data show 81,167 Minnesotans have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Guidelines about who gets the vaccinated next are expected in mid-January. More information, including demographics, on Minnesotans vaccinated can be found here.

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The most recent data available show 140 Minnesotans are hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19, and 677 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.

Walz announces loosening of some COVID-19 restrictions

Amid news of the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump opposing the certification of the presidential election results, Gov. Tim Walz kept his remarks announcing the loosening of restrictions on restaurants and bars, gyms, entertainment and other venues short Wednesday afternoon.

Here’s a brief rundown of what’s new. (For more details and reactions, read Walker Orenstein’s piece from earlier today here):

  • As of Monday, bars and restaurants can be open for dining indoors at 50 percent capacity, or a max of 150 people. No parties of more than six, or no more than two if seated at bars. Reservations are required and dine-in service must stop at 10 p.m.
  • Indoor entertainment events (think theaters, museums) can open at 25 percent capacity, with no more than 150 people in an area. No food can be served after 10 p.m.
  • Religious services continue to be at a 50 percent capacity but there is no longer a 250 attendee cap.
  • Small wedding and funeral receptions may resume (again, details here).
  • Outdoor events can have up to 250 attendees, provided distancing is observed. Venues may operate at 25 percent capacity.
  • Gym and fitness centers can remain open at 25 percent capacity, max 150, and may now have classes of up to 25 people. People and exercise machines have to be at least 9 feet apart.
  • As of Jan. 14, sports can have spectators, subject to indoor and outdoor gathering requirements.

As rationale for the changes, Walz cited the recent slowdown in cases and hospitalizations, which had been at a critical point in recent weeks. 

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“We’re still at a fairly high rate of infection but obviously … much lower than we were in December and November,” Walz said. He told Minnesotans that if they follow guidelines and keep cases in check, he may further loosen restrictions, but urged caution, warning cases can tick up quickly.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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