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Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Case counts remain low; more testing sites set to close



3 things you should know

  • The average daily number of cases remains below 100

  • 66.8 percent of residents aged 16 and over have at least one vaccination; 63.5 percent fully vaccinated

  • The state has started shutting down some COVID-19 test sites

With the state reporting a day of no COVID-19 deaths and only 79 new cases, Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said testing for the coronavirus is still important in certain circumstances.

“Anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to get tested in many cases,” Malcolm told MPR News, adding, “Everyone, vaccinated or not, should be tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms.” And Malcolm said anyone traveling abroad should be tested regardless of their vaccination status.

Tuesday’s encouraging numbers marked the third day with average daily cases below 100.

That’s nearly 500 cases a day a month ago, more than 1,600 a day two months ago – and more than 7,000 a day at the height of the pandemic last November.

The seven-day average for vaccinations is just over 10,000 vaccinations per day. At the current pace, it will be mid-August before the state hits its target of getting at least one shot at 70 percent of residents 16 and older that officials originally hoped would happen in early July. There are still major differences between age groups and regions.

Chart showing when Minnesota is vaccinated in 70% of adults

As cases continue their downward trend this week, Minnesota will cease operations at six state COVID-19 test sites.

The community testing sites in Albert Lea, Crookston and Wadena were closed on Tuesday. The state plans to close more COVID-19 test sites later this week. Locations in Chisholm, Hutchinson and Morris will cease testing on Wednesday. This follows the closure of three more in the Twin Cities last week.

Seven state locations remain open. The locations in St. Cloud, Duluth, Brooklyn Park, Mankato, Moorhead and Winona as well as on Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport operates most days of the week.

Free tests are also still available in pharmacies, clinics and other regional locations.

State officials say they saw a decrease in the demand for tests. The rate of positive tests has fallen below 1 percent, reflecting statistics that were only seen in April 2020 when test capacity and availability were scarce.

Percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive

Pandemic metrics are near the April 2020 lows

Known, active COVID-19 cases in Minnesota dropped to 780 in Tuesday’s data, staying below 1,000 for the ninth consecutive reporting day. It’s part of a staggering decline since May 1, when Minnesota had more than 15,000 active cases.

Active, Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Minnesota

Declining case numbers mean fewer hospital stays. On Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 97 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota. On Monday, there were fewer than 100 hospital admissions for the first time since the health department began recording this data a year ago.

Of the hospital patients, 23 needed an intensive care bed. Intensive care admissions numbers are at their lowest level since March 2020.

Chart of new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the ICU and outside the ICU

Minnesota’s pandemic toll remained at 7,587. Of the deceased, around 59 percent lived in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most of them had health problems.

New COVID-19-related deaths are reported in Minnesota every day

The state has so far recorded a total of 605,297 confirmed or probable cases of the pandemic, including the 79 that were released on Tuesday.

About 99 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic have recovered enough to no longer need to be isolated.

New COVID-19 Cases by Minnesota Area

People in their twenties still make up the age group with the highest number of confirmed cases in the state – about 112,000 since the pandemic began.

Although young people are less likely to experience the worst effects of the disease and be hospitalized, experts fear they can unwittingly pass it on to older relatives and members of other vulnerable populations.

Vaccination rate creeps

Almost 3 million people aged 16 and over now have at least one dose of vaccine. About 2.8 million are fully vaccinated. That is about 63 percent fully vaccinated and almost 67 percent with at least one vaccination, including 90 percent of people aged 65 and over.

A line graph.

If you add the nearly 105,400 12 to 15 year olds with at least one dose, Minnesota has surpassed 3 million residents with one or more syringes. More than half of the state’s total population is now fully vaccinated.

The vaccination rate is stuttering, however – now there are only an average of 10,000 vaccinations per day. At its peak in April, that average had exceeded 60,000 a day.

Minnesota also sees large regional gaps in vaccination rates, with most counties outside of the Twin Cities region still below 70 percent of adults vaccinated.

Minnesota Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Map

COVID-19 in Minnesota

The data in these graphs is based on the Minnesota Department of Health’s cumulative totals, released daily at 11:00 AM. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 on the website of the health department.

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Pharmacy students fan out across Anchorage to bring flu shots, COVID-19 boosters to assisted living facilities



In an assisted dorm in South Anchorage, 90-year-old Vera West was resting under a pile of blankets when a local pharmacy student measured a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

For the past 13 years, University of Alaska Anchorage pharmacy students – along with local licensed pharmacists and nurses who volunteer their time to look after the students – have spent several Saturdays in October visiting assisted dormitories across town and getting flu shots administer to hundreds of seniors like West.

That year, students brought vials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine so they could give booster injections to residents at risk.

West’s daughter Suzanne Jordan said she was grateful for the annual event. Going to a pharmacy or doctor’s office to get gunshots “would be impossible without an ambulance or something to get them,” Jordan said. She and other family members often take the opportunity to get flu vaccinations for the whole family, she said.

Participating students have already completed vaccination training and are certified to administer vaccinations, said Renee Robinson, associate professor of pharmacy on the UAA / ISU Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Students visit between 150 and 200 homes each year, mostly in the Anchorage area. They mainly focus on smaller homes for assisted living, which often have only a few residents. These homes can make particular use of the support because they have more limited resources and transportation, fewer caregivers, and often no medical staff on staff, Robinson said.

“We’re trying to provide this service at home that they wouldn’t get that easily,” said Robinson.

Flu shots can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 shot, and on Saturday many seniors were given both a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster – one in each arm.

State health officials have emphasized the importance of a flu shot this year to protect individuals and Alaska’s vulnerable health system from yet another highly contagious respiratory disease.

Alaska had one of the mildest flu seasons in recorded history last year, in part due to COVID-19 containment measures that reduce virus transmission and above-average intake of flu vaccines.

“Influenza accounts for hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions and tens of thousands of deaths annually in the United States,” wrote Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, in an opinion piece this week. “Flu vaccination is safe, greatly reduces the risk of flu, and helps prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and flu-related deaths.”

Older adults are particularly susceptible to severe flu because their immune systems are not as strong.

While some pharmacists across the state have reported hostility and harassment from people who don’t want COVID-19 vaccines, Robinson says that the assisted living students attending “have had a lot of support and people are happy we are there.” “. She said.

“The majority of assisted living residents are at risk, so they are a little more open to vaccinations,” she said.

Pharmacists often act as educators, addressing misinformation and answering questions people might have about vaccines.

“I think being in this safe environment helps have this fruitful discussion,” said Robinson of the conversation with the people at home.

West received her first COVID-19 vaccinations earlier this year and her daughter Jordan said it was a joyful time as the vaccine allowed her to visit her mother again.

Before the pandemic, she visited her mother most evenings after she finished work. For most of 2020, visits to her mom were limited to FaceTime, “but what she really wanted and needed was touch,” Jordan said. “And it didn’t really work with the small screen. She didn’t understand why I wasn’t visiting. “

West is one of thousands of Alaskans recently eligible for COVID-19 booster vaccinations. This group includes those who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago and are either: 1) 65 or older, 2) live or work in high-risk environments, or 3) have certain underlying medical conditions.

The FDA and CDC recommendations for booster vaccinations for high-risk groups were based on some studies that showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness may decrease over time.

When the pharmacy students offered a booster on Saturday, Jordan was on board with her mother, who was receiving one.

“Whatever it takes to protect them,” she said.

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Five times as many police officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire since start of pandemic



“The commercial just came with a box on TV that said, take Covid seriously … Be considerate of those of us who struggle for every breath,” wrote Stephen Desfosses in a series of conversations that began last Christmas Eve when himself his condition steadily deteriorated in a Massachusetts hospital.

“Your husband will [be] has changed forever, no matter what … my life flashed before my eyes and man, it’s scary, “he wrote in another message his wife posted on Facebook last summer.

There were 245 law enforcement deaths from Covid-19 in 2020, according to ODMP.

Coronavirus has become the leading cause of death for officials, although law enforcement will be among the first groups to receive the vaccine in late 2020. That’s 476 Covid-19-related deaths since the pandemic began, compared with 93 from gunshots in the same period.

“If you are serious about your commitment to protecting the public … and if you are serious about your personal obligations to your family, then that should be enough,” said Jessica Desfosses, urging the police officers to get vaccinated.

Their appeal comes as law enforcement officials and their unions across the country have opposed vaccine mandates despite the delta-fueled resurgence of Covid-19 and the effectiveness of the gunfire in preventing serious cases and death.

The reasons given for vaccine resistance among law enforcement officers include disinformation and even distrust of the science of vaccines.

The debate reflects growing tensions between unions and employers at the national level as cities and companies try to enforce vaccine mandates.

“You’re not being drafted for this job. That’s what you volunteer for,” said Charles Ramsey, a former Washington, DC police chief and CNN law enforcement analyst. “You understand, if you take the job, you have to make sacrifices in many different ways.”

Police unions challenge Covid mandates

In Chicago, up to half of ordinary officers at the country’s second-largest police department are taking unpaid leave as their union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot argue over a city requirement that officers disclose their vaccination status.

Lightfoot on Friday accused police union president John Catanzara of attempting to “stir up a riot” by asking officials to ignore a deadline to report vaccine status.

The city filed a complaint alleging that the union “encourages a work stoppage or strike”. A Cook County Circuit judge ruled Friday night that Catanzara should not make public statements urging members not to adhere to vaccination guidelines.

Catanzara “never participated in, supported or encouraged a work stoppage,” the union said in a statement on Friday.

The gun influx is “ground zero for violence” at the end of a bloody summer in Chicago.

Chicago officials had midnight Thursday to disclose their vaccine status or go on unpaid leave, Catanzara said earlier this week.

Lightfoot said the city will take time over the weekend to check with officials who have failed to comply. She said officers should report to duty until their superiors told them they were on leave.

Earlier this month, the former union president died of Covid-19 from 2014 to 2017.

In Miami, officials oppose a vaccination mandate. In Pittsburgh, the police chief sent emails urging officers to protect themselves as the Delta variant drove Covid-19 cases soaring.

In Seattle, police had “all non-patrolling sworn personnel, detectives, training and support personnel” ready to respond to emergency calls ahead of Monday’s vaccination mandate deadline, said Sgt. Randy Huserik, a spokesman.

The Seattle Mayor’s office said nearly 140 officials were unvaccinated or had not requested an exception. Huserik said that around 320 officials had left the force since early 2020.

Police union president Mike Sloan said Seattle could begin the process of separating officers from the department after the deadline.

“If we seem to lose over 300 people to this mandate, this public safety crisis we are experiencing will look like a no-brainer,” Sloan said.

The loss of an “outstanding officer” occurs

Law enforcement agencies across the US have pleaded with officials who are reluctant to get the shot. Yet many unions and their members continue to push back.

“It is a right to be vaccinated naturally. It is an individual right, and I still firmly believe in it,” said Dan Yancey, chief of police in Owasso, Oklahoma. “But I would certainly encourage people to do that.”

In Baker, Louisiana, outside Baton Rouge, the Covid-19 death of Lt. DeMarcus Dunn last August, according to Police Chief Carl Dunn many colleagues to get vaccinated.

Up to half of Chicago police officers could be given unpaid leave because of vaccination disputes

“He lost his father at a very young age and it was a village that raised him,” Chief Dunn said of the officer.

“And when you talk about an outstanding officer, an outstanding citizen, an outstanding person who has always given something back, that struck us. It was a big void in this department to lose such an outstanding officer.”

Before the lieutenant’s death on August 13, about 70% of the police force were unvaccinated. Now 95% of the city’s 40 officials have received the shot, the chief said.

“The point I’m trying to get across is that this pandemic is replacing any kind of policy, any kind of belief, anything you have that makes you hesitant to get vaccinated,” said Chief Dunn.

The national police union promotes vaccinations but rejects mandates.

Catanzara has called the issue a labor dispute.

The Miami City Commission unanimously votes for the dismissal of Police Chief Acevedo

“We will continue to fight this mandate and this dictatorship,” said Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, echoing the sentiments of union leaders across the country.

“You’d think there’s no crime to worry about in this city.

Late last month, hundreds of Washington State Patrol employees applied for religious and medical vaccination exemptions the day after the agency announced the death of a soldier from Covid-19.

Washington state employees must be fully vaccinated by Monday. The mandate covers 60,000 civil servants and 40,000 healthcare workers.

“We invest quite a bit in the screening and training of these people. We don’t want to lose them as friends or because of Covid,” said Chris Loftis, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol.

Widow receives copies of vaccination cards

Michael Weiskopf, 52, a St. Petersburg, Florida police officer died on August 27 after battling Covid-19 for about a month. He was an 18 year old law enforcement veteran.

“That was terrible and it didn’t have to happen,” said his widow Karen Weiskopf. “He was so strong. He was so healthy … He was my best friend. Perfect husband.”

Karen Weiskopf said she was vaccinated, but her husband hesitated. She tried several times to convince him.

His father, a police officer, died of Covid-19.  Colleagues accompanied him on his first day of school

“He wasn’t sure what was in the vaccine … I got a feeling that Mike wasn’t vaccinated because he didn’t have all the facts,” she said. “There’s a lot of information that just moves … Science leaves the picture. It’s just gossip.”

Karen Weiskopf believes that her husband’s death served as a warning to other officials unwilling to vaccinate.

“I still get letters to this day. I get calls,” she said. “I’ll get copies of vaccination cards in the mailboxes from people I don’t know.”

Jessica Desfosses wants to turn her untold loss into an opportunity to save lives.

“It’s absolutely as bad as you can imagine raising two little girls without their father,” she said of late husband Stephen, who “wanted to be first in line for this vaccine” but was never given the chance.

“And if he had had the choice of giving himself this extra protection so that he could continue serving the public and still be able to return to his family, he definitely would have done it.”

This story was told by CNN’s Ryan Young, Jason Morris, Priya Krishnakumar, Peter Nickeas, Claudia Dominguez, and Ray Sanchez. It was written by Sanchez.

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14,700+ new cases reported this week; 61.8% of Virginians now fully vaccinated



RICHMOND, Virginia – To provide accurate, easy-to-understand information about the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing vaccination efforts, will update this post weekly with statistics from the Virginia Department of Health.

COVID-19 IN VIRGINIA (Scroll Down for US Statistics)

Positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began: 902,938 (+14,779 from last Friday)
Hospitalization since the start of the pandemic: 37,767 (+503 from last Friday)
COVID-19-related deaths since pandemic started: 13,391 (+316 from last Friday)

Total number of tests: 13,366,135 (+238,872 from last Friday)
All Health Districts Current 7-day total positivity rate: 7.6% (from 8.2% last Friday)

People vaccinated with at least one dose: 5,863,070 (+16,429 from last Sunday)
% of the population with at least one dose: 68.7% (from 68.5% last Sunday)
Fully vaccinated people: 5,272,132 (+61,428 from last Friday)
% of the population fully vaccinated: 61.8% (from 61.0% last Sunday)

For a full breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Virginia by city / county, click here

NOTE: This updated data is provided daily at 10 a.m. by the Virginia Department of Health. Officials said her data cutoff was 5 p.m. the day before. (Case / test data is now available Monday through Friday, while vaccination data is updated seven days a week.) Get the latest tables and updated figures from the VDH here.

** Scroll down for week-to-week comparison of COVID cases **


These children were vaccinated on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at Richmond Raceway.

VIRGINIA VACCINATION: Virginians 12 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Register for the COVID-19 vaccine on the Vaccinate Virginia website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343). You can also search for specific vaccines and which ones are available in your area through the Vaccine Finder website.


FULL COVERAGE: COVID-19 HEADLINES (App users, click here for a full list.)

  • Local news

    Virginia health professionals are exploring the future of booster vaccinations

    Shannon Lilly

    October 15, 2021, 11:40 pm

  • National news

    States may reserve COVID-19 admissions for younger children next week

    The Associated Press & Scripps National

    18:08, 10/15/2021

  • Coronavirus

    Tour Chesterfield’s new community vaccination clinic

    Brendan King

    16:55, 10/15/2021

  • National news

    Rage Rooms help frontline workers reduce stress

    Tomas Hoppough

    16:20, 10/15/2021

  • Coronavirus

    FDA Panel Recommends Boosting J & J’s COVID-19 Vaccine

    Kyle Hicks

    1:55 pm, 10/15/2021

  • National news

    Navy Announces COVID Inoculation Schedule and Discharge Details

    Kyle Hicks

    10/15/2021, 12:08 pm

  • Coronavirus

    COVID-19 in Virginia: 2,350+ new cases on Friday

    WTVR CBS 6 web contributors

    10:17, October 15, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    Almost 90 more COVID-19 patients discharged

    WTVR CBS 6 web contributors

    10:05, October 15, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    US lift international travel restrictions for November 8th

    Alex Hider

    10:05, October 15, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    Protests welcome the debut of the Italian COVID passport rule in the workplace

    The Associated Press

    09:24, October 15, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    FDA advisory panel discusses booster for J&J vaccine

    Caroline Coleburn

    06:51, October 15, 2021

  • National news

    Kyrie Irving speaks out after being put on the bench

    Scripps National

    17:57, October 14, 2021

  • National news

    How a group of mothers helped give a voice to long-distance COVID-19 drivers

    Amanda Brandeis

    15:43, October 14, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    COVID-19 in Virginia: 2,600+ new cases Thursday

    WTVR CBS 6 web contributors

    3:02 p.m., October 14, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    105 more COVID-19 patients discharged

    WTVR CBS 6 web contributors

    3:02 p.m., October 14, 2021

  • National news

    Almost 500 police officers have died from COVID-19 in the past 2 years

    Sarah Dewberry

    14:13, 10/14/2021

  • Coronavirus

    Health officials are preparing to vaccinate younger children

    Caroline Coleburn

    10/14/2021, 12:17 pm

  • Coronavirus

    Union pres. urges police to ignore Chicago’s vaccination mandate

    Alex Hider

    14.10.2021, 12:14 p.m.

  • Coronavirus

    FDA Panel Endorses Moderna High Risk Adult Boosters

    Alex Hider

    10:13, October 14, 2021

  • Coronavirus

    Louisiana Zoo begins vaccinating animals against COVID

    KATC staff and Scripps National

    16:23, 10/13/2021

  • Coronavirus

    NIH Study: Mixing and Matching COVID Vaccines Is Effective

    Scripps National

    16:17, 10/13/2021

  • National news

    Wisconsin Brewery Helps Parents Sue “Every School District”

    Sarah Dewberry

    10/13/2021, 3:53 p.m.

  • Coronavirus

    Survey: Almost a third of adults say their children are very unlikely to be vaccinated against COVID-19

    Dan Grossmann

    14:57, 10/13/2021

  • Coronavirus

    Some companies will defy Abbott and keep the Vax mandates

    Alex Hider

    14:17, 10/13/2021


Week from October 9th to 15th
Positive COVID-19 cases: +14,779
People admitted to the hospital: +503
COVID-19-related deaths: +316

Week from October 4th to 8th
Positive COVID-19 cases: +18,831
People admitted to the hospital: +553
COVID-19 deaths: +269

Week of Sept. 27th-Oct. 1
Positive COVID-19 cases: +19,463
People in hospital: +579
COVID-19-related deaths: +295

Week from 20.-24. September
Positive COVID-19 cases: +22,668
People in the hospital: +718
COVID-19 deaths: +269

Week from September 13th to 17th
Positive COVID-19 cases: +25,370
People in the hospital: +718
COVID-19 deaths: +233

Week from September 6th to 10th
Positive COVID-19 cases: +23,660
People admitted to the hospital: +670
COVID-19-related deaths: +137

Week of August 30th – September 3rd

Positive COVID-19 cases: +23,515
People admitted to the hospital: +682
COVID-19 deaths: +130

Week 23-27 August

Positive COVID-19 cases: +20,573
People admitted to the hospital: +674
COVID-19-related deaths: +122

Week of August 16-20

Positive COVID-19 cases: +16,253
People admitted to the hospital: +577
COVID-19-related deaths: +48

Week 9-13 August

Positive COVID-19 case: +13,162
People admitted to the hospital: +465
COVID-19-related deaths: +41

Week from 2nd to 6th August

Positive COVID-19 cases: +10,280
People admitted to the hospital: +292
COVID-19-related deaths: +26

Week from 26.-30. July

Positive COVID-19 cases: +6,084
People admitted to the hospital: +269
COVID-19-related deaths: +32

Week 19-23 July

Positive COVID-19 cases: +3,801
People admitted to the hospital: +131
COVID-19-related deaths: +23

Week 12-16 July

Positive COVID-19 cases: +1,826
People admitted to the hospital: +145
COVID-19-related deaths: +27

Week from 5th to 9th July

Positive COVID-19 cases: +1,601
People in hospital: +158
COVID-19-related deaths: +23

Week from June 28th to July 2nd

Positive COVID-19 cases: +1,243
People admitted to the hospital: +268
COVID-19-related deaths: +30

Week 21-25 June

Positive COVID-19 cases: +1,180
People in the hospital: +48
COVID-19-related deaths: +46

Week 14-18 June

Positive COVID-19 cases: +905
People in hospital: +148
COVID-19-related deaths: +44

Week from June 7th to 11th

Positive COVID-19 cases: +1,003
People admitted to the hospital: +211
COVID-19-related deaths: +71

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