COVID cases falling fast in Minnesota — and around the US

Cases are falling so rapidly that many blue states like New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and others are rolling back many remaining COVID restrictions.

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Cases of COVID-19’s omicron variant are falling just as rapidly as they rose.

In Minnesota, the seven-day COVID case average between Feb. 2 and 8 shook out at 4,598 cases — down from 11,165 just a week prior, which is good for a whopping 59% decrease. That data comes from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The week’s seven-day positivity average has also decreased by nearly one-third, falling from 21% to 14.9% across the same timeframe. Deaths have remained constant and hospitalizations are slightly down, though both of those figures are expected to fall in the next couple weeks due to the collapse in overall cases.

Cases are not just dropping like a rock in Minnesota. It’s happening across the United States. On Jan. 24, the total number of new COVID cases recorded in the U.S. was 1,032,159, but on Wednesday, Feb. 9, new COVID cases totaled 226,782. That’s a 78% drop in just a matter of two-and-a-half weeks.

The seven-day average recorded on each of those days was 739,001 and 225,127, respectively — good for a 69.5% decline.

Cases are falling so rapidly that many blue states like New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and others are rolling back many remaining COVID restrictions, such as mask mandates in schools or public places and vaccine-or-test mandates for certain businesses.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter rescinded their vaccine mandates on bars and restaurants Thursday, citing a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In Ramsey County, where St. Paul is located, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped by 57.8% and 37.8% in the last seven days, respectively.

Case rates in Minneapolis have been dropping “rapidly and steadily,” according to the mayor’s office. The current seven-day new case rate is 499 per 100,000 people, compared to 1,300 per 100,000 people when the vaccine mandate took effect.

Both mayors may have been feeling the pressure to abandon the mandate before the weekend — not just because of falling COVID cases, but also because the Super Bowl is Sunday and Valentine’s Day is Monday.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, St. Paul City Council Member Jane Prince noted that Valentine’s Day is among the “busiest weekends” for restaurants, “not to mention Super Bowl Sunday.”

“They’re losing business,” she said. “[The vaccine-or-test mandate] needs to go now.”