3 things to know:
5,686 newly confirmed or probable cases, 21 newly reported deaths
19,224 known, active cases; 950 currently hospitalized
74.3 percent of 16-and-older residents with at least one vaccine dose
As Minnesota continues to grind its way through a hard stretch of COVID-19, the newest numbers offer the best hope in weeks that the worst of the current surge might — might — be over.
Known, active cases fell to 19,224 in Tuesday’s data, the lowest count in nearly three weeks. The seven-day average of newly reported cases also fell to a nearly three-week low and is down significantly from last Tuesday.
The rate of COVID tests coming back positive dipped below 7 percent, according to MPR News calculations — higher than the 5 percent officials find concerning but down to its lowest point in two weeks.
Perhaps the most hopeful news: Hospitalizations ebbed from their recent highs.
After pushing up over 1,000, putting immense pressure on the state’s short-staffed care systems, hospitalizations showed a significant dip in Tuesday’s report. There are 950 people in Minnesota hospitals now with COVID; 246 need intensive care.
State public health leaders continue to emphasize that Minnesota is not out of the woods yet as they implore people to stay vigilant against the disease and get vaccinated if eligible.
Driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the entire state now shows a high level of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reported cases, though, are down across the state, and are falling especially fast in northwestern Minnesota, the region with the worst outbreak over the past two months.
Cases are also down in every age group, though teens continue to be affected the most from the current wave.
The state’s death toll stands at 8,457, including 21 deaths newly reported on Tuesday.
Generally, Minnesota remains better positioned now than during its fall and spring spikes. More than 73 percent of state residents age 12 and older have received at least one vaccination shot, with nearly 70 percent now completely vaccinated.
The struggle continues, however, to get more Minnesotans vaccinated, and wide gaps remain in the vaccination rates among regions and counties.
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