ST. PAUL — State health officials reported Tuesday, Jan. 5, that an additional 1,612 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been documented in Minnesota.
The total number of known COVID-19 cases in the state stands now at 425,261.
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday, Jan. 4, that the state's pandemic outlook is improving but "that improvement is tenuous."
"If we let our guard down, COVID-19 finds a way to surge back," Malcolm said during a telephone news conference.
Health measures implemented in November, including a temporary ban on indoor dining at bars and restaurants, appear to have beaten back the surge of COVID-19 infections that began that month. And while the percentage of disease-affirming COVID-19 tests that came back positive is up slightly, Malcolm said, is still below the 10% threshold that health experts say to avoid.
Gov. Tim Walz, meanwhile, has signaled that he will lift the indoor dining ban and other health measures with an announcement Wednesday, Jan. 6.
As of Tuesday, approximately 80,857 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota. The state has enough doses on hand, health department officials say, to inoculate citizens belonging to the "Phase 1A — first priority" group, which is made up of hospital staff workers and residents of skilled nursing homes.
Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout in Minnesota consists mostly of medical personnel and assisted living facility residents. It is expected to conclude by the end of the month, Malcolm said Monday, with federal guidance on the next phase due out soon.
Eighteen additional deaths attributed to the disease were reported Tuesday as well, bringing Minnesota's pandemic death toll to 5,461. Of those, 10 occurred outside the Twin Cities area, and seven occurred in long-term care facilities.
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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.