Minnesota reports 897 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths Sunday

Minnesota health officials reported 897 more COVID-19 cases and four more deaths Sunday.

The news comes one day after the state announced more than 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The most recent data shows 1,046,077 people have had at least one dose, while 570,038 have received both doses.

Minnesota has now seen 490,011 COVID-19 cases and 6,550 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Of the newly reported deaths, one was a resident in a longterm care facility. The deaths ranged in age from 60-94.

The 897 newly reported cases were out of 28,607 tests, a 3.1% positivity rate. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH.

Meanwhile, health officials announced a new temporary testing site is opening in Thief River Falls. The site will be at the Thief River Falls Armory and will be open March 9-11 from noon-6 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged but not required.

"We are increasingly concerned about dramatic increases in cases particularly in Pennington County which is the highest case rate in the state, more than 5 times the statewide average and 6 times that of Hennepin County. Right now Thief River Falls is the center of this COVID-19 hotspot, which is spreading to neighboring counties," Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection, said in the release.

Vaccine efforts continue

Heath officials say Minnesota will get 127,160 first doses next week, all from Pfizer and Moderna. That is a 20% drop in total allocation from this week's 161,010 because states aren't getting any Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Just looking at Pfizer and Moderna comparisions, allocation is going up 10% next week.

VACCINE TIMELINE: Find out when you will get your COVID-19 vaccine

Malcolm told the Senate Aging committee Wednesday she is "highly confident" that Minnesota will vaccinate 70% of seniors before the end of the month, allowing a quicker expansion of eligibility. Walz says Minnesota will "significantly beat" his original vaccine timeline.