ST. PAUL — Minnesota health officials on Friday, Jan. 15, reported that an additional 1,640 cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state.
Thirty-three additional deaths attributed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus were reported Friday as well, bringing the total number of related deaths in Minnesota to 5,850. The number of new cases reported in recent days has fluctuated but remains lower than what was reported on some of the worst days of November, when infections surged in Minnesota.
A total of 24,758 people in Minnesota have received two rounds of the vaccine for COVID-19 as of Friday as well. Both are required in order for the vaccine to be most effective.
Approximately 162,000 others have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine. State health officials this week also told providers administering the vaccine in Minnesota to grant residents 65 years of age and older access to leftover doses of it.
That follows a federal government directive to broaden the eligibility requirements for vaccination and speed-up the U.S. inoculation campaign. Health care workers and nursing home residents are still being given priority access to the vaccine.
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm this week cautioned, however, that expanding eligibility criteria will not necessarily allow the state to vaccinate more people unless more vaccine is first delivered. The state has and continues to receive only a limited supply of the vaccine, she said.
Approximately 404,000 doses have been delivered to Minnesota out of a promised 626,925 as of Friday. Health officials project that they will have enough doses on hand by the end of January to provide first-round shots to the 500,000 people estimated to belong to the initial prioritization group in their vaccination schedule.
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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.