MINNEAPOLIS — A grim milestone has been reached in Minnesota. More than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the state has now seen more than 15,000 deaths due to the virus.
For comparison, that's about the population of the city of Alexandria.
Deaths have slowed down significantly since the peak, but state data shows we're still losing one to two people per day on average. In the pandemic's peak, in late 2020, the state saw a rolling seven-day average of more than 70 mortalities due to COVID-19.
Since the pandemic's start, more than 1.8 million cases have been confirmed, and 87,370 have been hospitalized due to the virus.
Fall vaccine availability
The new COVID-19 booster vaccine is in the process of rolling out. It targets the latest variant and is approved for anyone over 6 months of age. For the first time, vaccines for all three major respiratory viruses — COVID, RSV and the flu — are available this fall.
Once supply catches up with demand, doctors are encouraging people to get the updated shot, but especially those in high-risk groups including seniors, the immunocompromised, people who are pregnant, and children.
The Minnesota Department of Health says, for the first time, you may have to pay to get a COVID vaccine.
Minnesotans with health insurance are encouraged to speak with their provider and check their coverage before scheduling a vaccine appointment.
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