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COVID In Minnesota: Vaccinations Start For Residents At Long-Term Care Facilities

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) -- Monday is the day thousands of long-term care residents and staff start getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Minnesota health officials have been preparing for this day for the last month.

WCCO's Katie Steiner talked to a community in Woodbury called St. Therese, where about 400 people will be vaccinated throughout the day. CVS Health will be the ones administering the vaccine to 200 residents and 200 staff members.

Staff members have worked with the state for weeks to try to organize this vaccine clinic so it all runs smoothly.

CVS officials will go door to door giving the vaccine to residents, who all had to sign waivers if they wanted a vaccine.

St. Therese says that most their residents and staff did want the vaccine, and they hope this means they are one step closer to getting things back to normal.

"I think there is a lot of emotion right now regarding the vaccine. The biggest one is gratefulness. We are grateful for this day, we're excited for what is to come, there is some hope in the future in regards to covid 19 and maybe getting back to some normalcy," Marilyn Ramirez, St. Therese's vice-president of clinical operations, said.

Including St. Therese in Woodbury, 599 living facilities in Minnesota will start getting vaccinations through CVS Health today. That's more than 63,000 people in total.

Walgreens aims to vaccinate nearly 3 million residents and staff in a nationwide effort that includes Minnesota.

State health officials said long-term care facilities will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, which the state received in an initial shipment of 94,800 doses last week.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday reported 1,087 new cases of the coronavirus and 13 deaths —- the lowest number of single-day deaths reported since mid-November when case growth began to dramatically increase across the state. The state's totals now stand at 410,138 cases and 5,160 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Minnesota continued its decline over the past two weeks, going from nearly 4,000 on Dec. 13 to about 1,677 on Dec. 27. Hospitalizations dipped below 1,000 over the weekend with 675 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 203 in intensive care.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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