MN Government Updates 12.14

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health 

  • Commissioner Malcolm reported 2,340 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 384,164. This is the first time the state has seen fewer than 3,000 new daily cases in six weeks.
  • Yesterday, 32,117 COVID-19 tests were processed.
  • An additional 21 Minnesotans died due to COVID-19. This brings the state’s COVID-19 death total to 4,483.
  • Currently, 1,309 patients are hospitalized due to COVID-19 with 300 of those in the ICU.
  • The amount of hospital beds in use has been decreasing.
  • Currently, there are 97 fewer beds in use due to COVID-19 since Friday.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 10.9%.
  • Commissioner Malcolm said the state is seeing hopeful signs with all measures trending in the right direction for the first time in a while. However, Minnesotans need to continue following the health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • The state is averaging 85.7 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. This is down from 120 new cases per day per 100,000 residents.
  • The high risk number is 10 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. The state is still way above what is considered a more manageable rate of growth in cases.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann reported that about 2,000 doses of the state’s allocation of the vaccine were delivered to a couple of sites in the state. This is a portion of the 46,800 doses expected to arrive this week.
  • The Indian Health Service and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center have already begun vaccinating in Minnesota. Because these are federal entities, their allocation of vaccines are separate from the state’s allocation.
  • The state is “ready to hit the ground running with vaccine later this week or next week,” said Director Ehresmann.
  • Guidance for vaccination for healthcare providers is available on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
  • While vaccines are being rolled out, Director Ehresmann said that it’s important for the public to continue following public health recommendations.
  • The Moderna vaccine is set to be evaluated by the FDA on Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Health expects it is very likely that the FDA will approve this vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization. The state is anticipating receiving significantly more Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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