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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota's Health Commissioner has set a goal of having all of Minnesota senior citizens at least partially immunized against COVID-19 by the end of next month.

Jan Malcolm made the announcement this morning concerning Minnesotans who are age 65 and older. At last report, a bit over a third of the state's senior population had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, the most recent report from the state indicates over 710,000 Minnesotans have now received at least one dose and over 264,000 have had both vaccination shots.

State health officials note that Minnesota's allocation of vaccine doses has increased nearly 30 percent since January but recent deliveries have been hampered by the snow and ice storms affecting parts of the country. Yesterday, Olmsted County Public Health had to postpone a vaccination clinic because an expected shipment of the vaccine did not arrive and there have been similar reports of delayed shipments in other parts of the state.

The Minnesota Department today reported 14 coronavirus-related deaths and a Mower County resident between 30 and 34 years old was on that list. The state reported 928 new COVID-19 cases throughout Minnesota, including another 26 infections in Olmsted County. The daily testing positivity rate was down to about three percent based on over 31,000 tests completed on Wednesday.

The overall number of Minnesotans hospitalized due to COVID-19 is the lowest reported in almost 5 months. The latest count from Wednesday was 287 with 54 of the patients in intensive care. It marked the first time the overall hospitalization total has been below 300 since September 21 and the ICU total is the lowest since last spring.

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