Minnesota reports 1,400 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths Saturday

COVID-19 infections are rising in Minnesota for the first time in several weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,400 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths Saturday. The state has now seen 504,273 COVID-19 cases and 6,777 deaths since the pandemic began. 

The 1,400 newly reported cases were out of 31,818 tests—a 4.4% positivity rate. The state’s 7-day rolling average positivity rate, which has been steadily increasing lately, is now up to 4.2%, although it is a lagging indicator. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high level of community spread of the virus. 

One of the six newly reported deaths was a resident in a long-term care facility. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been increasing as well, now at about 316—the highest since Feb. 14. Seventy-four of the 316 hospitalized COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.  

Meanwhile, MDH reported 1,371,513 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 816,289 are fully vaccinated, which is 24% and 14.2% of the state’s population respectively, according to the latest data from the state health department. 

Minnesota has administered over 2 million vaccine doses. Gov. Tim Walz said Thursday it took the state two months to administer the first million doses, but the second million were given out in less than one month. 

Walz predicts Minnesota will get 350,000 vaccine doses the week of March 29, which is double the 172,390 shots arriving this week and would be welcome news as the state’s vaccination pace has stagnated in recent days. 

Minnesotans are encouraged to sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector website to be notified when they become eligible for a vaccine.