(FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Health reported 998 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths Tuesday. It is the first time since late March the state has reported fewer than 1,000 new cases in a single day.
Minnesota has now seen 581,335 COVID-19 cases and 7,174 deaths attributed to the disease since the start of the pandemic.
The 998 cases were out of 13,840 tests, a relatively low volume compared to previous days, although Tuesdays typically see fewer tests reported than other days of the week. Minnesota’s rolling average positivity rate is continuing to drop, down to 5.9% from its peak at 7.4% in early April. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high rate of community transmission.
The 11 deaths reported on Tuesday included one person in their 40s. Only one of the people who died was a long-term care resident.
Hospitalization numbers continue to be encouraging. There are currently 426 COVID-19 patients hospitalized but not in the ICU and 149 ICU COVID-19 patients, compared to 641 and 184 at this time last week.
Meanwhile, 58.7% of eligible Minnesotans have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 45.2% are fully vaccinated.
County to county, the percentage of people 16 and older who have at least one dose of the vaccine ranges from 35% in Benton County in east central Minnesota to 78% in Cook County along the North Shore. In the state’s two largest counties, Hennepin and Ramsey, between 65-68% of eligible residents have started the vaccine series.
Over 4.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered across Minnesota to date.
At a news conference Tuesday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said now that the state has plenty of vaccines supply, they will be moving into their next phase of vaccinations, which is bringing the vaccine to people where they are.
"Anytime we now move up by a percentage point in terms of Minnesotans who are vaccinated, that’s a big deal because the work to reach people is going to be a bit harder in this phase," Ehresmann said.
Malcolm said the state will be ramping up its strategies to make the vaccine easy and convenient for people to get.
Still haven’t gotten your shot? Find out how to make a vaccine appointment here.