COVID-19 in MN: Active case counts, positive test rate stuck at high levels – Minnesota Public Radio News

3 things to know:

  • 3,378 newly confirmed or probable cases, 35 newly reported deaths

  • 24,802 known, active cases, a high for 2021; 982 currently hospitalized

  • 75 percent of 16-and-older residents with at least one vaccine dose

Updated 12:39 p.m.

It’s hard to find much good news right now in Minnesota’s COVID-19 data. The newest numbers offer fresh evidence the disease remains dug in across the state.

Known, active cases rose to 24,802 on Friday — close to the highest count for all of 2021. The seven-day average for new daily cases dipped slightly from Thursday but remains high.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive remains above 7 percent, according to MPR News calculations. It’s down slightly from midweek but it’s still the highest Friday average of the year and remains higher than the 5 percent officials find concerning.

Hospitalizations are down slightly from their recent highs — but still relatively high. They’re about equally distributed between greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area.

Graph showing COVID-19 hospitalizations by region

Bed counts had topped 1,000 earlier in October, putting huge pressure on the state’s short-staffed care systems. Hospitalizations have been moving back and forth over that threshold since. There are 982 people in Minnesota hospitals now with COVID; 235 need intensive care.

State public health leaders continue to emphasize that Minnesota’s COVID-19 numbers stuck at relatively high levels and another surge is possible. They continue to plead with Minnesotans to stay vigilant against the disease and get vaccinated if eligible.

Driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the entire state shows a high level of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by age

The state’s death toll stands at 8,828, including 35 deaths newly reported on Friday. Deaths typically follow a surge in cases and hospitalizations. In past COVID-19 waves, it’s been the last of the key metrics to improve.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

Thanks to vaccinations, Minnesota remains better positioned now than during its fall and spring spikes. Seventy-four percent of state residents age 12 and older have received at least one vaccination shot, with more than 70 percent now completely vaccinated.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

The state is seeing progress in getting booster shots into Minnesotans who’ve already been vaccinated.

New COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped and given.

However, the struggle continues to get more Minnesotans vaccinated. Wide gaps remain in the vaccination rates among regions and counties.

Map of Minnesota COVID-19 eligible vaccination rate

State officials are shifting their vaccination focus now to some of the state’s youngest soon-to-be eligible residents.

Correction (Nov. 5, 2021): An earlier version of this story described Friday’s active case count as the highest in 2021. A higher count was recorded on Oct. 8.

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