The pace of vaccination in the north-central region continues to slip further behind the state as a whole.

A total of 59% of Minnesotans age 16 and older received at least one dose of vaccine. Aitkin, Mille Lacs and Crow Wing counties are each above 50%, with Aitkin nearing the 55% mark, but others in the region are at 45% or below. Todd County ticked up one percentage point Tuesday, but remains in the 30s at 38%.

Those age 65 and older are overrepresented among the vaccinated population in all seven area counties when compared to the state as a whole. The state reports about 29% of the vaccinated population is 65 or older, while about 42% of those vaccinated in Minnesota are age 18-49. These figures are flipped in the case of most regional counties. More than half of all those vaccinated in Aitkin County — 52% — are over 65. Mille Lacs County reports the closest proportions to the state figures, with 39.5% 65 and older and 27.6% of those 18-49.

The Minnesota Department of Health began a push recently to encourage younger Minnesotans to get vaccinated, including a Mall of America vaccination site prioritizing 16- and 17-year-olds. Meanwhile, vaccine manufacturer Pfizer announced Tuesday it expects U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization expanded to 12- to 15-year-olds as soon as early next week.

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Cases update

Crow Wing County exceeded 6,500 total cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, May 4, pushing the county’s per capita case rate to over 1,000 per 10,000 residents.

These include 6,152 confirmed cases and 354 probable cases. The total number of new cases in the last 14 days continues to slowly decrease from a mid-April peak of more than 500, back closer to half that at 264. Still, seven more Crow Wing County residents were hospitalized between Saturday and Tuesday, according to county data.

The death of one Cass County resident was reported Saturday — a person age 70-74.

COVID-19 data as of May 4

  • Aitkin — 1,328, with 36 deaths; 7,245 residents have received at least one vaccine dose, representing 54% of the county’s 16-plus population.

  • Cass — 2,648 with 28 deaths; 10,886 residents with at least one dose, 45%.

  • Crow Wing — 6,506, with 87 deaths; 26,564 residents with at least one dose, 51%.

  • Mille Lacs — 2,972, with 52 deaths; 10,701 residents with at least one dose, 53%.

  • Morrison — 4,126, with 60 deaths; 11,248 residents with at least one dose, 43%.

  • Todd — 2,771, with 31 deaths; 7,222 residents with at least one dose, 38%.

  • Wadena — 1,521, with 21 deaths; 4,798 residents with at least one dose, 45%.

NOTE: These numbers are cumulative since March 21, 2020, and many are out of isolation.