Minnesota reports 4,539 new coronavirus cases; 82 new deaths

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials reported 4,539 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and 82 new deaths, the state’s third-highest one-day total of the pandemic.

The new cases raise Minnesota’s total case count to 363,719 and its cumulative death toll to 4,109.

But hospitalizations are continuing a slow decline. Minnesota had 1,545 people hospitalized with COVID as of Tuesday, with 358 in intensive care.

According to data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project, Minnesota had the country’s seventh-worst diagnosis rate over the past week, with one Minnesota resident in every 152 people being diagnosed with COVID-19 from Oct. 1-8. Minnesota also had the country’s forth-worst new cases per capita over the past two weeks, with 1,360 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Health officials announced Tuesday that the first of 183,000 Minnesotans who will get the new coronavirus vaccine in the initial wave could get their shots as early as Christmas week. Minnesota will follow federal guidance for the first doses to go to people designated as Phase 1a, which means health care personnel and long-term care facility residents.

Details about when the general public can get the vaccine have not been determined, but officials say it will probably take six months before the immunizations become commonplace.