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The daily coronavirus update: mass vaccination site coming to Minnesota state fairgrounds

The effort is aimed at inoculating people who live in areas that rank high on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which measures things like poverty and access to transportation.

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 April 5, 2021:

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527,650 cases; 6,885 deaths

Ten more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Monday, for a total of 6,885. Because of the Easter holiday, MDH did not report new COVID-19 information Sunday, and is instead reporting that data on deaths, cases, and vaccinations Monday. On Tuesday, MDH will announce two days of data to make up for the lag.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Monday, two were in their 90s, five were in their 80s and three were in their 70s. Seven of the 10 people whose deaths announced Monday were residents of long-term care facilities.

MDH also said Monday there have been 527,650 total cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. That number is up 1,383 from the total announced on Saturday and is based on 37,065 new tests. MDH said because of a technical issue on Saturday, the state processed fewer cases than normal, meaning the information announced Monday may be lower, and the number of new cases Tuesday may be higher.

The seven-day positive case average, which lags by a week, is 5.6 percent. That’s above a 5-percent threshold the state considers a concerning sign of disease spread, and up from a 5.5 percent rate reported on Friday.

As of Friday, the most recent data available, 1,808,949 people, or roughly 32.5 percent of Minnesota’s population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s up 38,659 from the day prior.

The state also announced 1,164,187 Minnesotans, or roughly 20.9 percent of the population, have completed a vaccine series. That’s up 34,324 from the day prior.

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The most recent data available show 110 Minnesotans are hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19, and 338 are in the hospital with COVID-19 not in intensive care. Hospitalizations have been rising in Minnesota. On Friday, MDH reported 108 people in the ICU with COVID-19 and 327 hospitalized but 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.

Mass vaccination site coming to state fairgrounds

The state and federal government will open a mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds on April 14, Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday. It’s aimed at inoculating people who live in nearby areas that rank high on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which measures things like poverty, access to transportation and more.

The site will get 168,000 doses of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to use over eight weeks, enough for more than 100,000 people to be fully vaccinated, according to a press release from Walz. The doses are being given to the state in addition to the regularly scheduled allotments from the feds.

The fairground was chosen because it’s well known, accessible by public transit, and large enough to accommodate a large number of drive-through vaccinations. (But you don’t need a car to get vaccinated there.)

Minnesotans who are age 16 and older can make an appointment if they live in the following zip codes in Ramsey and Hennepin County: 55454, 55103, 55130, 55411, 55404, 55117, 55428, 55119, 55107, 55106, 55407, 55430, 55412, 55102, 55429, 55421, 55104, 55114, 55432, 55118, 55420, 55413, 55402, 55109, 55406, 55423, 55415, 55405, 55408, 55425, 55112, 55111, 55403, 55101, 55344, 55435, 55113, 55458.

The news release says people in those zip codes should sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector website in order to be tapped for an appointment. People can also call MDH’s hotline (1-833-431-2053) for assistance in other languages.

The mass vaccination site will be run by Minnesota, though with help from the CDC. Vaccines are free and people don’t need ID or health insurance to get vaccinated.

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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