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Minnesota milestone: A day of zero COVID-19 deaths

23 March 2022

Minnesota might have finally reached a positive pandemic milestone — the first day since Aug. 15 when nobody from the state died of COVID-19.

Wednesday’s pandemic update from the Minnesota Department of Health showed zero COVID-19 deaths so far on March 12. That could change, given delays in reporting and verifying COVID-19 deaths, but it nonetheless is the latest sign that Minnesota has emerged from its fifth and latest pandemic wave.

Minnesota on Wednesday reported two more COVID-19 deaths, raising its pandemic total to 12,342. But its average has declined from 33 deaths per day in the week ending Jan. 30 to as few as six deaths per day in the week ending March 12.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also declined from a peak of 1,629 on Jan. 14 to 235 on Tuesday. The latest total of 30 COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care is the lowest since July 21.

Comparisons with last summer offer a reminder that declines in COVID-19 activity can be temporary. Minnesota repealed a mask mandate last summer when it appeared that rising COVID-19 vaccinations had suppressed the pandemic, but more infectious variants emerged in the fall and winter when immunity from those shots had waned.

State health officials remain concerned that new variants could emerge and about recent upticks in COVID-19 numbers in Europe.

New projections this week from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Washington state suggest pandemic trends will continue to improve in Minnesota in the early spring because of the high number of people with immunity from recent infections and vaccinations.

Minnesota ranks second among states with almost 60% of fully vaccinated people 12 and older having received booster doses to maintain their immunity levels.

IHME estimates that 69% of Minnesotans have been infected by the coronavirus at least once in the pandemic, and the current level of viral spread is slowing.

This post was originally published on this site

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