The announcement will come little more than a year after the novel coronavirus made landfall in Minnesota, and one day after the state reported the full vaccination of more than 2 million residents.
“As millions of Minnesotans are getting vaccinated, Governor Walz is making plans to wind down COVID-19 restrictions and get Minnesota back to business as usual,” Walz’s spokesperson Teddy Tschann said in a news release. “The vaccine is here and it has proven to be our best tool to control the virus. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, get vaccinated, and crush the virus.”
The governor in recent days has said he planned to announce the rollback of COVID-19 restrictions, loosened most recently in March. He said that disease transmission and vaccination rates were favorable enough allow for the return in August of the Minnesota State Fair, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Though the state appears to be recovering from a recent surge in infections, the coronavirus pandemic is by several measures still very much active in Minnesota.
While vaccination rates have also slowed somewhat, Walz said this week that he still expects approximately 70% of Minnesotans above the age of 12 to be inoculated by June, and that a “normal-looking summer” would follow. Approximately 45% of residents older than 16 were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, May 5.
Federal health authorities are expected to approve the version of the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer for children ages 12 and older as soon as next week, according to media reports, which could further bolster Minnesota’s vaccination numbers. In an email, State Health Department spokesperson Doug Schultz said plans were being made for that possibility.
“Just as we have worked with other sectors of Minnesota’s population to meet them where they are, we will use multiple strategies to reach this population,” he said in an email. “Possibilities include utilizing their primary care provider, pharmacies, local public health clinics, and school-located vaccination opportunities.”
Following are the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Wednesday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.
Statewide case rates
- NEW CASES: 1,267
SEVEN-DAY, ROLLING AVERAGE OF NEW CASES PER 100,000 PEOPLE: 29 (As of Monday, April 26)
- TOTAL CASES: 582,576
- TOTAL RECOVERED: 562,376
SEVEN-DAY, ROLLING AVERAGE TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 5.9% (As of Monday, April 26)
ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 580
TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 30,691
DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 17
TOTAL DEATHS: 7,191
FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 2,598,691 people or 58.9% of residents ages 16 and older
COMPLETED SERIES (2 DOSES): 2,007,635 or 45.5% of residents ages 16 and older
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