Situation Update for Monday, March 22

The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 1,152 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths, bringing the state’s case total to 506,376.

The state’s death toll is currently at 6,782, with 4,248 of those deaths occurring in residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Today’s data comes after about 19,000 tests were completed yesterday. Over 3.6 million people have been tested for COVID-19, with over 7.9 million tests completed.

Over 489,000 of the state’s COVID patients no longer need isolation.

State health officials are asking Minnesotans to resist so-called “mask fatigue” and continue social-distancing. They say COVID variants are spreading rapidly in various parts of the state.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says they consider this a race against the clock, and a race between the vaccines and the variants.

“If you let down your guard at this pivot point in the pandemic, the state could see another spike,” warned Malcolm.

Minnesota has reportedly administered at least one dose to over 1.5 million residents, with 100 percent of the prioritized population vaccinated and about 26.8 percent of the state’s total population vaccinated. Over 800,000 Minnesotans have been fully vaccinated.

MDH reported three new COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County today and two new cases in Cass County.

The latest COVID-19 case rate information shows a four point decrease in Beltrami County. For the two-week period ending March 6, the local case rate was 11.28, down from 15.61.

Cass County’s rate increased by about one point to 16.54, Clearwater County’s rate stayed steady at 1.88, and Hubbard County’s rate dropped about five points to 4.79.

Since the pandemic began, Beltrami County has had 3,466 cases and 54 deaths, Cass County has had 2,273 cases and 26 deaths, Clearwater County has had 731 cases and 14 deaths, and Hubbard County has had 1,622 cases and 41 deaths.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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