Minnesota leads Upper Midwest in vaccination rate

·2 min read

Jun. 26—Even as some states with low vaccination rates are experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, statistics for Minnesota and other states in the Upper Midwest continue to show a waning pandemic.

Minnesota reported just 79 new cases Saturday, less than one per county, and six additional deaths related to the coronavirus, according state Department of Health figures.

None of the deaths, which bring the statewide total to 7,578 since the pandemic's beginning, were in south-central Minnesota. Of the new cases, three were in Blue Earth County, two were in Le Sueur County and one each were in Faribault, Nicollet and Waseca counties. There were no new cases reported in Martin, Sibley or Watonwan counties.

While COVID cases nationwide continue to decline, a few states are seeing rising numbers, notably Nevada, Missouri, Wyoming, Utah and Arkansas.

Minnesota, which continues to outperform surrounding states in both cases and deaths, has a higher percentage of vaccine-eligible residents who have received at least one dose compared to its neighbors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 66.6% of Minnesotans age 12 and older have received one or two vaccine doses. That compares to 62% in Wisconsin, 60.2% in both Iowa and South Dakota and 52.1% in North Dakota.

Nationally, multiple eastern states stretching from Maryland to Maine are above 70%, with 83.1% of those 12 and older in Vermont having at least one dose. California, Washington and New Mexico are also above 70%.

Excluding the high-performing states in the Northeast and on the West Coast, Minnesota's vaccination rates are exceeded only by New Mexico (72.1%), Colorado (66.8%) and Illinois (68.4%), according to the CDC.

In terms of COVID cases per 100,000 residents since the pandemic began early in 2020, Minnesota has had 10,726 — slightly better than Wisconsin (11,631) and Iowa (11,836) and substantially better than South Dakota (14,071) and North Dakota (14,517). The national average is 10,068.

The disparity is even more pronounced in deaths per 100,000 residents — 136 in Minnesota and 139 in Wisconsin compared to 194 in Iowa, 200 in North Dakota, and 229 in South Dakota, according to CDC figures through June 24. The national average is 180.

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