MinnPost provides a weekly update on coronavirus in Minnesota on Tuesdays, covering developments from the previous Wednesday to present.
This week in COVID-19 news
Last week President Joe Biden announced the federal government would begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to adults. Biden said the announcement was backed by research that shows vaccination protection from the virus wanes over time. “It will make you safer, and for longer, and it will help us end the pandemic faster,” said Biden during a press conference.
Booster shots are to be administered to people eight months after being fully vaccinated. Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said during a press conference Tuesday that state officials expect to receive the first booster doses during the week of Sept. 20.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older. Until Monday, the vaccine was given emergency approval.
Health officials hope the full approval will help sway those skeptical about getting a coronavirus vaccine. The approval was quickly followed by various entities imposting vaccine requirements: the state of Oregon will require all its employees to get a vaccine, for example, and the University of Minnesota will require the same of all students.
Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show the state added 9,705 new COVID-19 cases in the seven days between Aug. 18 and Aug. 24, for an average of 1,386 new cases per day. That compares to 1,252 new case daily average the week prior. At the height of the pandemic, in late November of 2020, Minnesota averaged more than 7,000 new cases per day.
The most recent seven-day case positivity average is 6 percent, up from 5.2 percent the week prior. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.
The most recent data on breakthrough infections — COVID-19 cases confirmed in fully vaccinated people — show 9,664 breakthrough infections, representing roughly 0.32 percent of fully vaccinated people. There have been 682 breakthrough hospitalizations, representing 0.02 percent of fully-vaccinated people. Sixty-nine fully vaccinated people have died, representing 0.002 percent of fully-vaccinated people.
Deaths and hospitalizations
Minnesota saw 38 COVID-19 deaths in the last week, up from 32 the week prior. (Deaths deaths are not always reported and confirmed in the same week.)
The number of hospitalizations also continue to increase in Minnesota. As of Tuesday, 153 people are in intensive care with COVID-19, while 394 are hospitalized and not in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 115 were in intensive care and 319 were hospitalized and not in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.
The most recent data show 59.1 percent of Minnesotans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 55.3 percent of Minnesotans have completed the vaccine series. A week ago, 58.7 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose and 55 had completed the vaccine series. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.