Minnesota records roughly 11,000 new breakthrough cases since last week

"Breakthrough infection is not the same thing as breakthrough disease," the state claims as breakthrough numbers continue to rise.

CDC/Unsplash

Minnesota reported about 11,000 new breakthrough COVID-19 cases Monday.

Between Nov. 22 and Nov. 29, breakthrough cases increased by 10,738 from 83,933 to 94,671. Breakthrough deaths jumped by 35 to 655 total breakthrough deaths in that same time period.

The Minnesota Department of Health releases data on breakthrough events just once a week (every Monday). Last Monday there were 83,933 breakthrough cases, 610 deaths, and 3,638 hospitalizations. Now there are 94,671 breakthrough cases, 655 deaths, and  3,922 hospitalizations.

The percentage of fully-vaccinated Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus now sits at 2.885%, up from 2.569% last week.

State health officials confirmed at a press conference earlier this month that “waning immunity” among the vaccinated, which leads to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, is playing a role in the state’s pandemic surge.

“There is growing consensus, I would say, among state health officials and clinical leaders and research leaders that waning immunity does have something to do with this most recent wave,” said Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

The state seemingly tries to downplay the increase in breakthrough infections, however. “Breakthrough infection is not the same thing as breakthrough disease,” the state insists. “Breakthrough infections occur any time a fully vaccinated person tests positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, regardless of whether they feel sick.” Notably, there is little emphasis on this distinction when the state reports normal COVID infections.