45 counties in Minnesota now at ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ spread of COVID-19

Minnesota Department of Health officials said on Tuesday, referencing the latest data on COVID-19, that 45 counties in the state are now either at a "substantial" or "high" spread of the virus.

That is 31 more than the previous week, when only 14 states faced the same situation.

Counties in the "high spread" category as of Tuesday include: Dodge, Lake, Meeker, Travis and Wilkin.

See a map of current conditions in the state below, or here.

The map below displays data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it pertains to community transmission levels. Courtesy: CDC
According to the CDC, counties in red have a high level of community transmission, in orange have a substantial level, in yellow have a moderate level and in blue have a low level.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm also noted that in the past week, total cases across the United States jumped 42%, and COVID-related hospital admissions increased by 47%. She also noted that, in the state of Minnesota, half of all cases identified in July were reported within the past two weeks alone.

The commissioner reiterated that getting a vaccine is the best line of defense and protection against the virus. Additionally, she noted that there is a recent increase in people getting vaccinated. The state is still incentivizing $100 to get vaccinated through the next two weeks.

"We are grateful that people are taking another look and taking action to get vaccinated," she said during the call with reporters on Monday.

Regarding breakthrough cases, 4,477 have been reported to date, which is far fewer than 1% of vaccinated people. Of those cases, 455 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized (0.016% of total vaccinated people) and 56 have died (0.002% of total vaccinated people).

"We just want to underscore again that this does not mean the vaccines are not doing their job," Malcolm noted, calling breakthrough cases "quite rare."

The commissioner also suggested to Minnesotans that now is a great time to stop and think, about how others around you may be high-risk.

"Everyone needs to consider their own risk factors," she said. "And those around them. Consider masking, being outdoors, providing distance."

To listen to the full briefing, click play on the video above.