More than 1,000 Crow Wing County residents have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those 1,094 people are among the 78,402 people statewide who’ve been vaccinated as of Monday, Jan. 4, the Minnesota Department of Health reported. The vaccine is not yet available to the general public while supplies remain limited. Health care workers and people who live in long-term care facilities are prioritized as part of the first phase of vaccinations.
Monday, health department officials announced vaccine doses needed to provide the first of two shots to hospital health care personnel in the first priority group were fully distributed.
A total of 297,350 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to Minnesota by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those allocated doses, over 150,000 doses were sent to hospital settings. Hospitals now must work through the logistics of administering the vaccine to health care personnel, the health department noted in a news release.
“Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, we are focused on immunizing for impact. We will start with the people who are most likely to get COVID-19 and those most at risk of serious complications."
— Kris Ehresmann, state infectious disease director
“This is not an easy task as much of the vaccination is happening within hospitals that are already stretched very thin right now. They are working through the process and we are making progress,” Jan Malcolm, health department commissioner, stated in the release.
Health care personnel included in the “phase 1a – first priority” group include hospital staff working with patients who may have COVID-19, staff and residents in skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, emergency medical services personnel who provide direct patient care, COVID-19 testers, and COVID-19 vaccinators. Recommendations for all of phase 1a vaccination are based on broader federal recommendations and were further sub-prioritized by the state into three additional priority groups.
“Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, we are focused on immunizing for impact. We will start with the people who are most likely to get COVID-19 and those most at risk of serious complications,” stated Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann in the release.
The state’s role in vaccine distribution is oversight and facilitation, the health department reported, and it also helps the federal government know where in Minnesota to send vaccines and ensures vaccine providers in Minnesota — mostly private health care providers and pharmacies at this stage — administer it safely.
All COVID-19 vaccine providers are required to submit COVID-19 vaccination information to the state’s immunization system called Minnesota Immunization Information Connection within 24 hours of administration. Data provided on weekdays by the state is for all COVID-19 vaccines of Minnesota residents administered and submitted to the system.
Cases see slight uptick, deaths slow in region
The number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in Crow Wing County saw a slight daily uptick in the past week compared to the latter half of December — but with Christmas and New Year’s Day in the mix, it’s difficult to tell whether the data is representative of a trend. The 32 new cases added Monday marked the first time in weeks the number of cases recorded in the previous 14 days increased after daily drops throughout December.
Data also shows slight accelerations in case numbers in Cass, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Wadena counties, while Aitkin and Todd counties remain steady.
In the past week, 10 regional residents lost their lives due to complications associated with COVID-19 — down from 25 during the previous week. Seven of those were Crow Wing County residents: two people ages 80-84; two people ages 90-94; one age 55-59; one age 75-79; and one who was 95 to 99 years old. Three Morrison County residents also succumbed, ages 65-69, 70-74 and 90-94.
Number of COVID-19 vaccinations
The Minnesota Department of Health updates the number of vaccine doses administered each weekday on its website, including a breakdown by county of residence.
The following is data available as of Monday, Jan. 4. Those who’ve received the vaccine so far include health care workers and those living in skilled nursing facilities.
Aitkin — 215 doses administered, a rate of 135.34 per 10,000 residents.
Cass — 288 doses, 96.71 per 10,000.
Crow Wing — 1,094 doses, 168.17 per 10,000.
Mille Lacs — 520 doses, 197.89 per 10,000.
Morrison — 363 doses, 108.73 per 10,000.
Todd — 360 doses, 146.08 per 10,000.
Wadena — 199 doses, 145.45 per 10,000.
Statewide — 78,402 doses, 138.02 per 10,000.
COVID-19 data as of Jan. 4
Aitkin — 1,034, with 32 deaths.
Cass — 1,958, with 20 deaths.
Crow Wing — 4,590, with 67 deaths.
Mille Lacs — 2,061, with 43 deaths.
Morrison — 2,967, with 43 deaths.
Todd — 2,255, with 27 deaths.
Wadena — 1,146, with 12 deaths.
NOTE: These numbers are cumulative since March 21, 2020, and many are out of isolation.