More than 600,000 doses of vaccine administered in Minnesota
1,400 new COVID-19 cases reported as vaccination campaign continues.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday, Feb. 4, reported that 604,864 doses of the vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been administered in Minnesota.
Health care workers, nursing home residents and, lately, education and child care workers have been among those to be given the vaccine so far. Health officials reported Thursday that 128,694 people in Minnesota have received the two doses required for the vaccine to be most effective.
Approximately 475,000 people have received at least one dose. As new cases continue to be documented by the thousand in the U.S. and across the globe, the spread of COVID-19 appears to be stable for the moment in Minnesota.
"Here in Minnesota, our situation, as we have been saying, has been looking quite a bit better in recent weeks," Health Department Commissioner Jan Malcolm said on a call with the media Thursday.
An additional 1,410 cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday alongside the vaccine milestone, bringing the total number of infections documented in the state since last March to more than 465,000. An additional 17 deaths were reported Thursday as well, eight of which occurred outside of the Twin Cities area.
Long-term care and group home settings accounted for 10 of the newly reported deaths. At least 6,251 people have died of COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began, figures released Thursday show.
The percentage of recent COVID-19 tests returning positive results, based on a rolling, seven-day average, stands at 4.3%, Malcolm said Thursday. That it has been less than 5% for some time is promising, health officials have said.
At present, 369 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19, Malcolm said, 82 of whom are in intensive care.
Health officials are also continuing to monitor for signs of COVID-19 mutations first identified in other countries. Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said Thursday that a total of 16 cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom have so far been documented in Minnesota.
Seven of those cases involved direct, domestic travel. Four involved international travel, three of which were identified in individuals who traveled recently to West Africa and one associated with an individual who traveled recently to the Dominican Republic. The U.K. variant, officially called the B117 variant, is believed to be more transmissible but not necessarily more deadly.
A second case of the mutation first identified in Brazil has also been documented, Lynfield said, and involves a patient who is a household contact of the first person in Minnesota found to have had the variant. Both recently traveled to Brazil, according to the state health department,
"It is not a surprise that we detected another case, but it underscores the need for continued vigilance," Lynfield said.
The health department on Thursday also announced lawsuits against two restaurants, one in Albert Lea and the other in Milaca, for operating without a license. Both establishments had their licenses revoked for violating earlier guidelines that forbade indoor dining.
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- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
- COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website .