Minnesota reports 1,529 new COVID-19 cases, 37 deaths Saturday

Minnesota health officials reported 1,529 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 additional deaths Saturday. 

There have now been 445,047 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 1,529 newly reported cases were out of 30,774 completed tests—a positivity rate of 4.9%. 

Twenty-two of the 37 COVID-19 deaths reported on Saturday 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. 

As of Jan. 12, 162,040 people have gotten at least one shot from Minnesota providers and 24,745 people have gotten both doses of the vaccine. 

The dashboard shows 510,590 doses have been shipped to Minnesota. Although, 106,300 of those are for the federal pharmacy provider program, which is not overseen by the state.