Updated: August 03, 2020 03:26 PM
Created: August 03, 2020 01:39 PM
Monday afternoon, Minnesota health officials provided the latest update on the state's COVID-19 situation.
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann talked about the state's climbing infection rate, COVID-related scams that are circulating and how Minnesota is one of just a few states to help lead with the rollout of a COVID vaccine when it's ready.
While testing continues to increase, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to climb at an even faster rate.
The seven-day average rolling infection rate for Minnesota is at 5.1%, up from 4.8% last Monday. There's also been a 19% increase in ICU patients in the past week, Malcolm said.
She noted that it takes everyone doing their part to beat the virus and stop the spread, and MDH encourages everyone to follow the guidance it has issued.
The biggest news from Monday's call was when Malcolm and Ehresmann talked about working with their federal colleagues in battling the virus. They noted that federal officials have said Minnesota, because of the rising infection rate and hospitalizations, should be looking at closing things down again or dialing back. Malcolm and Ehresmann said it's been a struggle getting people to comply with the guidance that was issued, and while the goal is to keep things open and not have to dial back, it's something they'll continue to monitor and consider should the situation continue to worsen.
They also said there is some planning already underway for when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved.
Ehresmann said a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group generally provides guidance for how to prioritize vaccines, given that it'll take time to get enough for everyone and some people will need it sooner than others. The group will issue guidance for states, and it'll then be up to states to implement that guidance.
Ehresmann also said Minnesota was one of just four states invited by the CDC to be part of a pilot group that will look at rolling out the vaccine and planning for that time. Ehresmann said Minnesota was selected due to the strength of its immunization program and a strong history of outreach to communities.
Here are some other highlights from Monday's briefing:
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