Minnesota reports 1,364 new COVID-19 cases, 40 more deaths Sunday

Minnesota health officials reported 1,364 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 additional deaths Sunday. 

There have now been 446,380 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Minnesota since the first infection was reported in the state in March, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data. Of those, over 95% have recovered to where they no longer require isolation. 

The 1,364 newly reported cases were out of 31,567 completed tests—a positivity rate of 4.3%. 

Twenty-four of the newly reported deaths were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. To date, over 71% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been in those types of facilities. 

Cases of new COVID-19 variant found in Minnesota

The new variant strain of COVID-19 has been detected in Minnesota, MDH confirmed this week. 

Five cases of the new strain were confirmed among residents of four counties in the Twin Cities metro, with the first patient exhibiting symptoms as early as Dec. 16. 

The strain was first discovered circulating in England in November and December of 2020. Researchers believe it spreads more easily than the original COVID-19 strain. There is no evidence, however, that it is more severe or increases the risk of death.

MDH launches online COVID-19 vaccine tracking dashboard 

MDH launched a new online COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday for tracking the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Minnesota. The dashboard is updated daily, but the reported data lags real-time numbers by a few days.