COVID-19 in Minnesota: 12 more deaths, 980 positive tests

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 12 new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday and 980 positive tests.

Minnesota has recorded 5,939 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with nearly two-thirds of the deaths reported in long-term care facilities. The number of positive tests in the state increased to 447,349 with Monday’s totals.

The average positivity rate in Minnesota sits at 4.6 percent. Health officials consider anything over 5% a concern.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Monday the state has now administered 232,952 COVID-19 vaccines. About 45 percent of the vaccines shipped to Minnesota health care providers, as well as pharmacies for vaccination in long-term care facilities, have been used.

In each of the past two weeks, more than 70,000 doses have been administered, after a slow ramp-up in December. The current pace is at the upper limit of the state's capacity, because Minnesota has only been receiving about 65,000 doses a week from the federal government.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday announced the launch of a pilot program this week for people 65 years and older, teachers and child care workers to get the coronavirus vaccine, but initial doses will be very limited.

Nine appointment-only sites across the state will start offering vaccines on Thursday, Gov. Walz and state health officials said in a news release. State officials did not immediately release the locations of the nine sites.