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

On Tuesday, MinnPost will deliver weekly updates covering the COVID-19 development in Minnesota from the previous Wednesday to today.

This week in COVID-19 news

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

The big news of the week is that children aged 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Children in this age group receive a smaller dose than adults and children aged 12 and up. More information about children’s vaccines and how to schedule appointments can be found here. In an October survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 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 child vaccinated if necessary, and 30 percent said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated.

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So far, only certain groups have been made eligible for vaccine boosters, but on Tuesday, Pfizer asked the FDA to approve booster doses of their COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 years of age or older, reports the Washington Post.

In travel news, the United States opened its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers on Monday. This piece from the New York Times about what it means for people with their loved ones abroad is a real tear-jerker.

Cases

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show that the state added 21,389 new COVID-19 cases during the seven days between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9, to an average of 3,056 new cases per day. Worth noting: that number is an understatement because of a volume of cases larger than the Minnesota Department of Health could handle in Tuesday’s release, according to a spokesman for the department. Last week, Minnesota had an average of 3,609 new cases daily. At the peak of the pandemic at the end of November 2020, Minnesota averaged more than 7,000 new cases a day.

The positivity average of the last seven-day case – or the average percentage of positive cases out of the total COVID-19 tests – is 9.1 percent, up from 7.9 percent the week before and almost double the 5 percent “caution” threshold “. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.

As of October 3, the latest available data, 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 have been hospitalized (0.09 percent of those fully vaccinated) and 483 have died (0.015 percent of those fully vaccinated). Unvaccinated people continue to be 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 past week, up from 137 the week before. (Deaths did not necessarily occur in the week in which they were reported because deaths are not always reported and confirmed immediately.)

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

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Vaccines

Recent data show that 62.9 percent of Minnesota residents (3.50 million people) had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 60.0 percent of Minnesota residents (3.34 million people) had completed the vaccine series. One week ago, 62.4 percent of Minnesota residents 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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