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Minnesota COVID Deaths Reach Lowest Count Since Start of Pandemic

The 40 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota in June make up the lowest monthly total since March 2020. The state's overall toll is 14,896 — with seniors accounting for 83 percent of the deaths.

Monthly COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota reached their lowest total since March 2020, when public health officials announced the state’s first confirmed coronavirus infection.

The 40 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota in June make up the lowest monthly total since March 2020 — the start of the three-year pandemic.

While preliminary, the total halves the 83 COVID-19 deaths in May and falls well below the 239 deaths in January, according to Thursday's weekly update by the Minnesota Department of Health. The state's COVID-19 toll is 14,896 — with seniors accounting for 83% of the deaths.

COVID-19 levels have been stable or declining in recent weeks, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reported the first small increase since January in the United States. July 4 has been a pivot point in the pandemic in each of the last three years, and Minnesota officials are monitoring whether holiday gatherings produced any measurable increase in viral transmission this year.

Modest U.S. increases have mostly been in the South so far, said Kathy Como-Sabetti, a senior manager in the state Health Department's infectious disease division. "Viral respiratory diseases can have different patterns of circulation geographically and we could see an uptick in cases in the Midwest."

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota increased from 43 a week ago to 61 on Tuesday, but neither number threatens the state's health care capacity. A record 1,864 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota on Nov. 29, 2020 — before vaccine was available.

Sewage sampling at the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Paul showed a slight increase last week in the presence of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, that trend was influenced by elevated readings on two days that could have been anomalies. Updated results are expected Friday.

Statewide readings at more than 35 wastewater treatment plants across Minnesota have shown little change.

The majority of Minnesotans 5 and older have been vaccinated against COVID-19, but only 28% are considered up to date with the latest booster doses. The rate improves to nearly 69% of seniors at greatest risk of severe COVID-19.

Federal health officials are planning a rollout in the fall of an updated booster formulated against the dominant XBB coronavirus strain. Metro sampling showed that XBB made up more than 90% of viral material in Twin Cities wastewater.

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