On Tuesdays, MinnPost provides weekly updates that cover COVID-19 developments in Minnesota from the previous Wednesday to present.
This week in COVID-19 news
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced vaccine rules for federal employees, large employers, and health care workers. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” said Biden during his announcement.
Biden’s push would includes requiring businesses of 100 people or more to impose vaccine mandates or get tested weekly, and the total number of people affected could top 100 million, or nearly two-thirds of all workers in the country.
Several governors, including Ron DeSantis in Florida and Tate Reeves in Mississippi, as well as multiple Republicans in Congress have condemned Biden’s mandate. “NO VACCINE MANDATES.” wrote House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Twitter.
Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show the state added 16,282 new COVID-19 cases in the seven days between Sept. 8 and Sept. 14, for an average of 2,326 new cases per day. That’s down from a daily average of 1,882 new cases from the four days of reporting the week prior. Note, though, that a delay in data reporting caused by the Labor Day weekend means that more cases are included in this report than would be in a regular week’s reporting. 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 — or the average share of positive cases out of total COVID-19 tests — is 7.1 percent, up from 6.6 percent the week prior. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.
As of August 15, the most recent data available, 18,790 of 3,080,074 fully vaccinated Minnesotans had known breakthrough COVID-19 cases (0.6 percent of fully vaccinated people). While vaccines are highly effective at protecting people from contracting COVID-19, they’re not perfect, though they do prevent nearly all hospitalizations and deaths from the disease. Of those 18,790 reported breakthrough cases, 1,095 people were hospitalized (0.036 percent of the fully vaccinated) and 108 people died (0.004 percent of the fully vaccinated).
Deaths and hospitalizations
Minnesota had 59 new COVID-19 deaths in the last week, up from 45 the week prior. (Deaths did not necessarily occur in the week in which they were reported because deaths are not always reported and confirmed immediately.)
As of Tuesday, 208 people are in intensive care with COVID-19 — the highest number this year — while 540 are hospitalized and not in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 158 were in intensive care and 457 were hospitalized and not in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.
The most recent data show 60.4 percent of Minnesotans, (3.36 million people), had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 57.1 percent of Minnesotans (3.18 million people) had completed the vaccine series. A week ago, 59.9 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose and 56.3 had completed the vaccine series. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.
This week on MinnPost
- MinnPost’s COVID-19 dashboard
What we’re reading
- Schools will need vaccine mandates for in-person classes to last, expert says, CNN.
- Babies, the delta variant and COVID: What parents need to know, NPR.
- Our Most Reliable Pandemic Number Is Losing Meaning, The Atlantic.
Correction: This post has been corrected to accurately state the percentage of Minnesotans with vaccine doses and to correctly characterize the change in average cases reported per day in the last week, which were up from the week prior.