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Coronavirus in Minnesota: Case positivity rate jumps to levels not seen since December

Minnesota also saw reported deaths and hospitalizations from the disease increase over the previous week.

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

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

Minnesota’s COVID-19 situation worsened over the last week, with case positivity rising to levels not seen since last December. Deaths and hospitalizations were also up over the previous week.

The big news of the week is that kids ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Kids in this age group get a smaller dose than adults and kids age 12 and up. More information on kids’ vaccines and how to schedule appointments can be found here.  In an October survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation found 27 percent of parents would get their 5 to 11-year-olds vaccinated right away, while 33 percent would “wait and see.” Five percent would only get their kid vaccinated if necessary, and 30 percent said they definitely would not get their kid vaccinated.

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Up to now, only certain groups have been made eligible for vaccine boosters, but on Tuesday, Pfizer asked the FDA for authorization of booster doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone age 18 or up, the Washington Post reports.

In travel news, the U.S. opened its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers on Monday. This piece from the New York Times on what that means for people with loved ones abroad is a real tearjerker.

Cases

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show the state added 21,389 new COVID-19 cases in the seven days between November 3 and November 9, for an average of 3,056 new cases per day. Worth noting: that number is an undercount due to a volume of cases larger than the Minnesota Department of Health could process in Tuesday’s release, according to a department spokesperson. Last week, Minnesota averaged 3,609 new cases daily. 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 9.1 percent, up from 7.9 percent the week prior and nearly double the 5 percent “caution” threshold. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.

As of October 3, the most recent data available, there have been 64,844 documented breakthrough infections — people who became infected with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. That number represents 2 percent of fully vaccinated people in the state. Among them, 2,956 fully vaccinated people have been in the hospital (0.09 percent of fully vaccinated people) and 483 have died (0.015 percent of fully vaccinated people). Unvaccinated people remain far more likely to get sick, be hospitalized or die compared to vaccinated people. More information on breakthrough infections can be found here.

Deaths and hospitalizations

Minnesota added 164 new COVID-19 deaths in the last week, up from 137 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.)

COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising in Minnesota. As of Tuesday, 249 people are in intensive care with COVID-19, while 873 are hospitalized and not in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 223 were in intensive care and 755 were hospitalized and not in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.

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Vaccines

The most recent data show 62.9 percent of Minnesotans, (3.50 million people), had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 60.0 percent of Minnesotans (3.34 million people) had completed the vaccine series. A week ago, 62.4 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose and 59.7 had completed the vaccine series. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.

This week on MinnPost

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