Area, state COVID cases remain relatively low

Tim Krohn, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·2 min read

Apr. 20—MANKATO — New COVID-19 cases in the area were relatively low again on Tuesday and there were no additional deaths.

The nine-county region had 49 new cases, up from the 31 cases reported Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Monday's and Tuesday's new case numbers were the lowest locally since March 5.

As the state races to beat out a new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 with vaccines, COVID-19 cases — and case positivity rate — continue to decline.

The state reported 1,189 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Meanwhile, vaccination rates held steady, with 52% of Minnesotans 16 and older having gotten a COVID-19 shot.

And while hospitalizations overall remained unchanged from recent days, there's no clear decline yet in the hospitalization data. The state reported 193 people in the intensive care unit on Tuesday, and 493 people in non-ICU beds. Both figures are about as high as they've been in months.

The state reported five additional deaths Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to 7,031.

As of Tuesday, the state health department data showed that more than 1.6 million Minnesotans had completed their full vaccine series — two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — while nearly 2.3 million have received at least one dose, including about 85% of residents age 65 and older.

Those numbers have been holding steady in recent days, and the data overall suggests vaccines are on a downward slide. This is partially driven by supply cuts, particularly in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which federal authorities paused last week as they investigate the possibility of rare side effects associated with the shot.

On Tuesday, Mayo Clinic, which has locations throughout southern Minnesota, put a call out to media that it had too many spots. In a notice sent to the press, Mayo said that people who are not its patients could sign up for a vaccine with them, as well as people who don't live in Minnesota.

Elsewhere, local public health with extra doses is partnering with schools to vaccinate teenagers 16 and older.

Still, the data shows that Minnesota, on the whole, is administering vaccines almost as quickly as they come in.

Following are Tuesday's count of new cases in the region:

—Blue Earth — 15

—Brown — 1

—Faribault — 3

—Le Sueur — 8

—Martin — 7

—Nicollet — 7

—Sibley — 1

—Waseca — 5

—Watonwan — 2