(FOX 9) - As of Thursday, 70 percent of Minnesotans age 65 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to state health data.
This was the benchmark Gov. Tim Walz had previously been waiting for the state to reach in order to expand the eligibility to vaccine. Vaccination data, however, lags by a few days.
On Wednesday, the state began the next vaccination phase, weeks ahead of schedule. The new eligibility includes 1.8 million people with underlying health conditions and frontline essential workers.
As of Thurday, about 1,129,967 people in Minnesota have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 642,701 people have been fully vaccinated.
Minnesota health officials reported 1,096 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths Thursday. The state has now seen 494,106 COVID-19 cases and 6,724 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The 1,096 newly reported cases were out of 31,784 tests, a 3.4% positivity rate. Of the 19 newly reported deaths, seven were residents in long-term care facilties.