Minnesota has record daily increase in vaccinations

Kristine Goodrich, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·2 min read

Mar. 27—Newly reported coronavirus cases dipped slightly Saturday across south-central Minnesota as state health officials reported the highest ever daily number of vaccine doses administered.

Data released Saturday by the Minnesota Department of Health included nearly 78,000 additional vaccine doses. That's the highest single-day total yet as the state prepares to open vaccine eligibility to anyone age 16 and over.

State health officials say they are racing to get shots into arms before new variants of the virus cause a surge in cases. They believe as many as half of recent infections are from the U.K. strain.

The percentage of Minnesotans who are at least partially vaccinated has climbed another point to 28%.

Regional rates of at least partial vaccination vary from under 26% in Le Sueur and Sibley counties to over 34% in Brown County.

Nearly 17% of Minnesotans are now fully vaccinated.

The daily average vaccination number over the past week has climbed to more than 42,500 — the highest that's been in nearly two weeks, and a welcome change from days of relatively flat vaccination numbers.

But the seven-day rolling average of new COVID cases reported each day also went up, to about 1,374 — the highest that number has been since Jan. 18. The number of active cases in Minnesota also is the highest it's been in more than two months.

There were over 1,700 more confirmed and probable cases across the state, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to nearly 514,000.

The nine-county Free Press coverage area combined for 61 newly confirmed cases Saturday, down from 80 on Friday and 87 on Saturday. The state reported another five suspected but not yet confirmed cases.

Brown County led the region in cases for a second consecutive day.

Confirmed cases by county were:

Brown County: 13

Blue Earth County: 9

Nicollet County: 8

Le Sueur County: 8

Watonwan County: 8

Waseca County: 7

Faribault County: 4

Martin County: 2

Sibley County: 2

The region is nearing 22,000 known cases since the start of the pandemic.

There were no more COVID-19 deaths in the region and four across Minnesota to bring the statewide toll to 6,825.