(FOX 9) - As COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to more Minnesotans, more than 1.1 million people in the state are on the way to completing their vaccine series.
As of Wednesday, about 1,103,353 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 615,432 people have been fully vaccinated.
Minnesota health officials reported 922 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths Wednesday. The state has now seen 493,013 COVID-19 cases and 6,705 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The 922 newly reported cases were out of 20,704 tests, a 4.4% positivity rate. Of the nine newly reported deaths, four were residents in longterm care facilties.
Vaccine eligibility changes
Minnesota officials announced the state is expanding vaccine eligibility, starting Wednesday. The announcement comes several weeks ahead of schedule after the state used vaccines from the federal government.
The new eligibility includes 1.8 million people with underlying health conditions, and frontline essential workers.
138 COVID-19 deaths added after laboratory audits
Tuesday, officials announced that an audit of four laboratories turned up additional lab data confirming 138 more deaths from COVID-19 in the state. According to MDH, the audit of unverified possible COVID-19 case reports identified 891 cases and 138 deaths that were previously unreported to MDH by private labs in violation of a state rule. These cases and deaths occurred over the course of the last year. The cases will be attributed to the appropriate date on the state's website.
The 138 deaths were reported to MDH previously, but could not be confirmed without the data. That data now allows MDH to verify them as COVID-19-related deaths.
Health officials would not name the labs because of the investigation. Some of the labs also operate in other states, health officials said. Minnesota has 924 labs reporting data to it during the pandemic.