Minnesota reported 3,916 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, the fewest daily new cases in more than a month, as the state’s latest surge continues to wane.
Prior to Wednesday, Minnesota had reported an average of more than 10,000 new coronavirus infections per day.
State health officials have also cleared a backlog of positive tests results that needed to be reviewed. The backlog of positive tests had persisted most of January and skewed the state’s daily pandemic data.
Test-positivity, the rate of new infections and hospitalizations have now been in steady decline for more than a week. Evidence of virus genetic material in Twin Cities sewage is also decreasing.
Most signs point to the decline of a surge in cases, driven by the highly-contagious omicron variant, that caused a monthly-record 314,000 infections in January.
However, the rate of COVID-19 fatalities, which typically lags a spike in cases, remains high. Another 59 deaths were reported by state health officials Wednesday bringing the death toll to 11,516.
The latest deaths to be reported ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s. Twenty lived in long-term care, 38 in private homes and one resided in a behavioral health facility.
Health officials continue to urge vaccination as the best way to avoid a severe infection and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Breakthrough cases continue to rise and now account for about 32 percent of infections since vaccination began.
Boosters restore waning protection provided by vaccines and are encouraged for everyone 12 and older.
Minnesota has administered more than 9.2 million doses of vaccine including 2 million boosters. About 65 percent of the state’s population has completed their initial series of shots.