Coronavirus Watch COVID Vaccines

Covid-19 Positivity Reach Highest in MN

In Star Tribune, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jeremy Olson writes that Covid-19 testing and positivity rate have reached the highest level in Minnesota. “A key barometer of pandemic activity has matched a 2021 high in Minnesota, where the positivity rate of diagnostic testing has increased to 7.6% and indicates broad spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19″, writes Olson.

The state’s Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm reportedly told reporters that the rising positivity rate is a “double concern“.

With the amount of virus that’s out there and the amount of the population that is not protected by vaccine, there is unfortunately plenty of room for the virus to still do its harm.

Jan Malcolm, state Health Commissioner (source: Star Tribune)

Adding some context to the present Covid-19 positivity rate, Olson writes “Minnesota is above the caution threshold of a 5% test positivity rate but hasn’t been above the 10% warning level since December — during the state’s most severe pandemic wave and just before COVID-19 vaccines became available. The state also reached a 7.6% rate in April before infection levels declined and prompted Minnesota leaders to withdraw mask mandates and social distancing requirements.”

“This wave has been different from prior waves in that we have not seen the sharp spike up, that exponential growth rate that we saw in some of the other surges. But it’s been this steady, inexorable increase over a long period of time. … We know it’s not going to be the same pattern that we’ve seen before because it’s already different.”

– Jan Malcolm, the state Health Commissioner (source: Star Tribune)

Unvaccinated are Driving New Infections

According to Star Tribune reporting, about 71% of the current Covid cases are driven by from those who are not vaccinated. “Although unvaccinated people make up 38% of Minnesota’s population — including children 11 and younger who aren’t eligible for the shots — a comparison with the breakthrough data shows that they made up about 71% of the infections identified in the past week,” writes Olson in Star Tribune.

That is a pretty significant proportion of the vaccinated population. The unvaccinated continue to be the driving force behind the high rates of transmission we are seeing.

Kris Ehresmann, state infectious disease director (source: Star Tribune)

Director Ehresmann told reporters that ‘more than 98% of fully vaccinated Minnesotans haven’t suffered infections, which is significant considering that some breakthrough cases were inevitable and that a fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus has emerged’.

According to Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 models and other groups, the Covid infection is project to be flat or steady in October, with the potential for a decline in November.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of October 12, 9 a.m.) 488,178,975 doses have been distributed and 403,576,826 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of October 10) a total of 6,630,869 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of October 12) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 746,768 (out of 12,995,416 tested) with 8,330 deaths.