MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that more than three million COVID vaccination shots have now been administered, based on the latest figures reported.
"With the trees budding and the bats cracking at Target Field this afternoon, three million doses in arms is a significant indication of our continued progress toward ending this pandemic," Walz said. "This was our fastest million doses yet and, with fans in the stands at Target Field, the signs are all around us -- spring has arrived, normalcy is near, and we are going to end this pandemic."
On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported a total of 2,535 more cases and 14 more deaths due to the virus.
The latest figures of those hospitalized show 131 Minnesotans in ICU, a figure not seen since the middle of January and a sharp increase in just the last few days. Near the beginning of March, that figure dipped below 40.
The figures show hospitalization figures decidedly on the rise, with an average of 8.8 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. Anything above eight hospitalizations per 100,000 is considered high risk.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 535,182 positive cases and 6,922 deaths.
The state's rolling average positivity rate is now at 6.4%; at the start of March it was at 3.5%. Anything above 5% is considered cause for increased caution. Additionally, the rate of community spread is as high as has ever been tallied, with 46.3% of cases reported with no known source of exposure, an increase of more than 5% in just over a week. The line of caution is drawn at 20%.
According to MDH, Minnesota processed 44,207 COVID tests since the last reported figures. Since the pandemic began, more than 3.77 million Minnesotans have been tested.
As of Monday, Minnesota has administered 3,048,429 doses of vaccine, with 1,247,045 people having completed the entire vaccine series. Roughly 1.9 million Minnesotans, or just over one-third of the state's overall population, have received at least one dose.
The current tally also indicates that 83% of seniors (age 65 and older) in Minnesota are now vaccinated, a figure the state has been sitting on for a number of days now. The state also reports that 43% of Minnesotans age 16 and older have already received at least one dose.
The state has a Vaccine Connector program to help notify you when a vaccine becomes available to you. People who sign up for the connector may also be randomly selected for one of the state's community vaccination sites.
A recent survey ranked Minnesota just outside the top 10 among states with the most COVID-19 restrictions in place. Minnesota's position on the list was underpinned by the survey's observation that we're surrounded by states that are on the other end of the spectrum.
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