(FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Health reports 61% of people 16 or older have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, the day Gov. Tim Walz is set to end the statewide mask mandate. Approximately 51% are fully vaccinated.
Walz initially planned to remove the statewide mask mandate when Minnesota reached 70% or more people with a first dose, but changed his mind after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people can go without masks indoors.
Only three counties—Hennepin, Olmsted and Cook—hit Walz's 70% goal. Benton County in central Minnesota has the lowest vaccination rate in the state, with only 36% of people 16 and older having received at least a first vaccine dose.
An estimated 4.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota to date.
As of Thursday, children ages 12-15 can start getting vaccinated against COVID-19, although the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that has been authorized for use in children under 18. Find out how to get a COVID-19 appointment for your child here.
Meanwhile, MDH reported 1,306 new COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths on Friday. Minnesota has now seen 592,750 COVID-19 cases and 7,283 deaths attributed to the virus since the pandemic began.
The 1,306 newly reported cases were out of 36,823 tests, a 3.6% positivity rate. Minnesota’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate, a lagging indicator, is down to 5.8% from its spring peak of 7.4%. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high rate of community transmission.
Only one of the nine deaths reported on Friday was in the seven-county Twin Cities metro. Three of the people who died were under the age of 65. Three were residents of long-term care facilities.
There are currently 464 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Minnesota, 123 of whom are in the ICU.