The late-summer COVID-19 wave in Minnesota is still chugging along, heading for the fall. While the most recent data suggests that the curve is flattening, the state is still not out of the woods.
As the new school year begins, officials are concerned about an increase in the number of cases among school-aged children. Both case rates and hospitalizations among this group are greater than they were a year ago.
This development, according to state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann, is due to the delta variety being more contagious and kids having substantially more exposure than last year. Kids were hiding everywhere and undertaking distant or hybrid learning in the fall of 2020.
Officials are urging all Minnesota residents aged 12 and above to be vaccinated, and officials are urging students, instructors, staff, and visitors to wear masks inside school facilities regardless of immunization status.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters on Thursday that masking inhibits COVID transmission. You as well as those who are around you are protected by your mask.
She also cited a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that hospitalization rates among children in areas with low vaccine coverage were greater than in areas with higher vaccination coverage. This research, according to Malcolm, shows that vaccines not only protect people but also community members who aren't yet immunized.
On Thursday, the Health Department reported 1,215 new confirmed or suspected cases, the lowest daily total in three weeks. The number of known, active cases is also decreasing, with the state's average for the latest reporting week is 7,684, the lowest since August 25.