Minnesota COVID-19 infections surpass 700,000

·2 min read

Sep. 28—Minnesota has topped 700,000 test-confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began 18 months ago.

The 6,203 new infections reported by Minnesota health officials Tuesday bring the state tally of cases to 706,158 since March 2020. The total number of infections is certainly higher as not everyone who gets sick is tested and screening was limited early in the outbreak.

Another 11 fatalities were also reported Tuesday by the state Department of Health. They ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s, with seven residing in private homes and four in long-term care.

Minnesota's death toll is 8,109, with 4,628 fatalities in long-term care facilities. About 87 percent of those who died of COVID-19 were seniors.

The number of COVID patients in intensive care fell below 200 for the first time in two weeks. There are 767 people hospitalized, including 196 in critical condition.

An estimated 17,000 residents with active infections are recovering at home. About 96 percent of those who tested positive during the pandemic have recovered enough they no longer need to be isolated.

Health officials say nearly all new cases are caused by the more contagious delta variant. Children ages 10 to 14 are currently the group with the most new infections.

Vaccinations, for those 12 and older who are eligible, remain the best way to avoid a severe illness, health officials say. Pfizer announced Tuesday that it had sent information about vaccine effectiveness in 5- to 11-year-olds to federal regulators.

Breakthrough infections have been increasing, but 99 percent of the 3.1 million Minnesotans who are fully vaccinated have not reported a breakthrough cases.

The state has administered 6.3 million doses of vaccine and 3.3 million people have gotten at least one dose. About 72 percent of the vaccine-eligible population has gotten at least one shot.

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