April 5 update on COVID-19 in MN: Vaccination pace stable; hospitalizations up

A needle goes into an arm.
A COVID-19 vaccine is put into a patient's arm at a vaccine clinic in St. Paul on March 18.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

3 things to know

  • More than 1.8 million residents with at least one dose; more than 1.1 million completely vaccinated

  • Shots trending at about 54,000 per day

  • Easter holiday data reporting may skew numbers for a couple of days

Updated: 12:04 p.m.

Minnesota’s most recent COVID-19 data shows the state’s vaccination rate continuing apace while caseloads and hospitalizations rise. Officials cautioned not to read too much into the most recent data given delays in reporting over the Easter weekend.

The Health Department on Monday reported about 69,000 more vaccinations, putting the seven-day trend at more than 54,000 shots daily.

Newly reported COVID-19 vaccine doses in Minnesota

Even as they loosen rules to make it a bit easier for assisted living residents to get out for April celebrations, play cards and eat dinner together, officials remain increasingly concerned over rising caseloads tied to the U.K. COVID-19 variant and to youth sports.

Monday’s report also showed the state’s positive test rate trending for a sixth day above 5 percent — a warning sign about a possible surge.

More than 1.1 million Minnesotans are fully inoculated while more than 1.8 million have received at least one dose, including more than 82 percent of residents age 65 and older. Minnesota expects to see its federal vaccine supply shipments jump over the next few weeks.

A line chart.

Officials have described the current situation as race against time to vaccinate as many Minnesotans as possible before the COVID-19 variants can get a stronger foothold in the state.

They’ve confirmed nearly 1,000 cases in the state of the highly contagious U.K. strain in recent weeks and believe it’s responsible for the majority of the spread that happening now.

Separately on Monday, state and federal officials unveiled plans for a mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul that will be able to vaccinate 100,000 Minnesotans over eight weeks. The site will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Graph projecting when most Minnesotans will get vaccinated
Projections by MPR News data reporter David Montgomery

Cases, hospitalizations rising

Warning lights continue to flash around Minnesota’s COVID-19 disease metrics.

The number of known, active cases has been trending upward over the past few weeks, with 16,053 active cases as of Monday’s report — marking 17 consecutive days with active counts above 10,000, a stretch not seen since January.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

While still low compared to late November and early December, the rising trend is notable given the worries over the rise of the U.K. COVID-19 strain, which state health officials suspect is driving the current upswing.

Hospitalizations counts are also moving higher. Agency data showed 448 people with COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals; 110 needed intensive care. Daily admissions to hospitals because of COVID-19 are trending at their highest levels since late January.

Graph of new ICU and non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations

Ten deaths reported on Monday raised Minnesota’s overall pandemic death toll to 6,885. Among those who’ve died, about 62 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

The state has recorded 527,650 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including 1,385 posted Monday. About 96 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 in the pandemic have recovered to the point where they no longer need to be isolated.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

Regional hot spots bubble

Regionally, all parts of Minnesota are in better shape than they were in late November and early December. The latest numbers, however, show cases are up in almost every region of the state.

New COVID-19 cases by Minnesota region

Public health leaders continue to keep watch on clusters in the southwest Twin Cities metro area as well as Mankato in southern Minnesota and around Aurora and Ely in the northeast. Central Minnesota is also seeing a rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

Cases spread across age groups

People in their 20s still make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — more than 98,000 since the pandemic began, including more than 51,000 among those ages 20 to 24.

New Minnesota COVID-19 cases by age, adjusted for population

The number of high school-age youth confirmed with the disease has also grown, with more than 41,000 total cases among those ages 15 to 19 since the pandemic began.

With kids increasingly returning to school buildings and sports, Minnesota public health officials are urging Minnesota families with children to get tested every two weeks for COVID-19 now until the end of the school year.

Although young people are less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease and end up hospitalized, experts worry they will spread it unknowingly to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations. Those with the coronavirus can spread it when they don’t have symptoms.

Caseloads among people of color

In Minnesota and across the country, COVID-19 has hit communities of color disproportionately hard in both cases and deaths. That’s been especially true for Minnesotans of Hispanic descent for much of the pandemic.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by race

Even as new case counts continue to track well below their late November, early December peaks, the data shows Latino people continue to be hit hard.

Distrust of the government, together with deeply rooted health and economic disparities, have hampered efforts to boost testing among communities of color, officials say, especially among unauthorized immigrants who fear their personal information may be used to deport them.

Officials have acknowledged that distrust by communities of color has been a problem during the pandemic. They’ve offered up some data on vaccinations broken down by race and ethnicity that they’re updating regularly.

COVID-19 in Minnesota

Data in these graphs are based on the Minnesota Department of Health's cumulative totals released at 11 a.m. daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department website.

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