Minnesota's COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations at highest rate since January

Minnesota health officials reported 2,140 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, the first time the state has seen over 2,000 cases reported in a single day since Jan. 10. 

Week over week, cases have climbed for 23 of the last 25 days, according to Minnesota Department of Health data. Minnesota is currently averaging about 1,616 new cases of COVID-19 per day. 

The 2,140 newly reported cases were out of 43,117 tests—about a 5% positivity rate. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate continues to increase, now up to 5.4%, although it is a lagging indicator. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH.

On a conference call Thursday, state medical director Ruth Lynfield said 54-66% of the state's positive cases over a six-day period in late March were B117 variant cases, meaning the strain is quickly becoming dominant here.

MDH reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, four of which were people who lived in long-term care facilities. The deaths included one person in their 40s. 

A total of 521,667 COVID-19 cases and 6,860 deaths have been reported in Minnesota since the start of the pandemic. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Minnesota are now the highest they have been since late January, and at about the same level as they were in mid-October right before the fall surge. There are currently 435 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 105 of whom are in the ICU. 

Meanwhile, nearly 1.7 million Minnesotans have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and over 1 million are fully vaccinated, which is about 38% and 24% of the state’s population respectively. 

Nearly 82% of Minnesota’s seniors are fully vaccinated. 

Anyone 16 years old and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota. 

Health officials are encouraging anyone who has not received their COVID-19 vaccine yet to sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector website to be randomly selected for an appointment at one of the state’s community vaccination sites. 

People can also contact their health care provider, look for a community vaccination clinic in their area or sign up for an appointment at one of the pharmacies participating in the federal retail pharmacy COVID-19 vaccine program. 

GET YOUR SHOT: Tips for finding a COVID-19 vaccine appointment