MinnPost provides updates on coronavirus in Minnesota Sunday through Friday. The information is published following a press phone call with members of the Walz administration or after the release of daily COVID-19 figures by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Here are the latest updates from April 8, 2021:

Fourteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday, for a total of 6,922. 

Of the people whose deaths were announced Thursday, two were in their 90s, two were in their 80s, five were in their 70s, four were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Six of the 14 people whose deaths were announced Thursday were residents of long-term care facilities.

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MDH also said Thursday there have been 535,182 total cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of positives is up 2,535 from Wednesday’s count and is based on 44,111 new tests. The seven-day positivity average, which lags by a week, is 6.4 percent, up from 5.4 the week prior. You can find the seven-day positive case average here. Variants are the main reason the positivity rate continues to climb.

“We estimate that 50 to 60 percent of our SARS-CoV-2 currently are due to variants, particularly B117,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom. She asks that we keep in mind that this variant is more “easily spread and more likely to cause severe illness.” There are 1,573 confirmed cases of B117 in Minnesota, according to the MDH. 

The state reports 1,900,248 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The most recent data available show 131 Minnesotans are hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19, and 434 are in the hospital with COVID-19 not in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

More information on cases can be found here.

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MDH’s coronavirus website: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

MDH’s phone line for COVID-19 questions: 651-297-1304

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