MN Government Updates 01.07.21

House and Senate Floor Sessions

Today, both the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate conducted floor sessions.

The Minnesota House adopted temporary rules for how the chamber will operate. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Senate elected Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) as Senate President.

Both chambers are adjourned until Monday, January 11.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

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

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm reported 2,004 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 429,570.
  • Just over 42,000 COVID-19 lab tests were processed yesterday.
  • Another 44 Minnesotans died due to COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 5,572.
  • Prior to the holidays, the state was above 1,000 hospital beds in use each day for COVID-19 care. Today, 787 hospital beds are in use for COVID-19 care with 135 of those in the ICU.
  • As of the latest report, 91,174 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 6.6% (as of December 29).
  • The commissioner said it will take time for the vaccine to get to everyone and to have enough widespread coverage to manage the pandemic to its end. The state is working to get healthcare workers and the most vulnerable vaccinated. She urged everyone to make good decisions each day to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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

  • Director Ehresmann provided a timeline for how vaccine allocation, distribution, and administration works in Minnesota.
  • The state learns about its allocation of vaccine from the federal government on Tuesdays. This represents how many doses the state can officially order from the federal government. An order for the vaccines cannot be placed until Thursday.
  • State health officials use the time between Tuesday and Thursday to identify where vaccines will be delivered.
  • The doses that are ordered aren’t shipped until the next week.
  • Once the doses arrive in the state, they may still have to move from the location where they were originally shipped before reaching the final destination.
  • Vaccines allocated on a Tuesday may not reach the final destination until Friday of the next week.
  • Once the vaccine reaches the final destination, the shot is administered as soon as possible. When the shot is given, it has to be entered into the state’s immunization data system. That must occur within 24 hours. Pharmacies administering long-term care shots have 72 hours to report to the state’s immunization data system.
  • When asked if the state will be done vaccinating Phase 1A (healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities) by the end of the month, Director Ehresmann said yes, but clarified that timeframe is based on the state receiving the expected allocation of vaccine each week.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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