The state health department announced Thursday the first death of a Minnesota teen from COVID-19.
A Hennepin County resident aged 15 to 19 was among 26 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Thursday. It is unclear if the teen had any medical conditions or other factors that increase the risk of a serious infection.
Just four Minnesotans under the age of 20 have died from COVID-19. About 86 percent of the 8,515 COVID-19 deaths reported in the state were in the elderly.
The rest of the deaths recorded on Thursday were between the ages of 50 and 90. Six people were in long-term care, 19 were in private homes and one deceased was left homeless.
The state’s death rate from COVID-19 remains high, even as other measures from the latest spike in cases are showing signs of easing.
For example, over the past week, the number of new outbreaks in school buildings and new infections in long-term care settings have increased, but not significantly. There are currently 538 school buildings with known outbreaks and 383 long-term care facilities with sick people or staff.
The number of new cases diagnosed this week is about 25 percent lower than it was a week ago, data from the state Department of Health show. There were 2,361 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of pandemics since March 2020 to 768,112.
The number of new tests has also decreased, but only by about 14 percent. On Thursday, 27,850 test results were reported, and since the start of the pandemic, nearly all 5.8 million Minnesotans have been tested at least once – a total of 13.3 million samples have been tested.
The positiveness of the tests fluctuates from day to day, but continues to decline slowly.
Hospital admissions are also declining, but options are still limited across the state. 928 patients were hospitalized, including 248 in critical condition.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid serious infection and slow the spread of COVID-19. Breakthrough cases have become more common, however, with 45,827 reported so far, including 2,178 hospitalizations and 263 deaths among fully vaccinated residents.
Minnesota has administered 6.7 million doses of the vaccine and 3.4 million people have received at least one dose. About 73 percent of the population aged 12 and older who meet the vaccine criteria have received at least one vaccination.