Minnesota reports 1,367 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations increase

Minnesota health officials reported 2,102,859 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 1,425,236 have received both doses as the state faces setbacks due to the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Tuesday, federal officials put a pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while agencies investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots. The Minnesota Department of Health says it is not aware of any cases of blood clots among the over 184,000 Minnesotans who have received the J&J shot, which is about 6.6% of all vaccines administered in the state. 

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, MDH reported 1,367 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths Tuesday. All of the people were in their 60s and lived in private homes.

The 1,367 new cases were among 15,492 tests, an 8.8% positivity rate. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate has increased to 7.2%. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high rate of community spread. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are steadily increasing, with 159 COVID-19 patients currently in the ICU and 517 in the hospital but not in the ICU. Hospitalizations are now at the highest they have been since mid-January.

Despite the increasing cases, and concerns over another wave of COVID-19, Gov. Tim Walz has said he doesn't have any plans for another set of COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, he and other governors are pushing for the Biden administration to prioritize states that are facing a new increase in cases for COVID-19 doses.