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CORONAVIRUS

More than 95% of the Guard’s 13,000 soldiers and airmen have been vaccinated against COVID-19, but holdouts remain. The Department of Defense has a Thursday, June 30, deadline to get the shot.
MDH has reported COVID-19 numbers each weekday since spring 2020 when the virus was first identified in Minnesota. Nearly 1.5 million Minnesotans have tested positive for the virus, 66,282 have been hospitalized and 12,792 have died.
If all the federal hurdles are cleared, the first kid-sized doses could arrive in Minnesota next week. If they do, doctors, clinics, pharmacies and at least one community site will be ready to administer them.
Viral loads steadily climbed in all regions in the state from April to May, according to a COVID-19 wastewater surveillance dashboard maintained by the University of Minnesota in partnership with the state health department. But according to data reported from June 1 to 8, Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities are seeing viral particle levels decline.

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The CDC will do a reassessment of this decision in 90 days, the official said.
The sites will test residents for COVID-19 and those deemed to be at high risk for developing severe symptoms could get a prescription for Paxlovid.
A prolonged process of getting legislative approval for the program, which picked up steam in 2021 but didn’t culminate until this April, has given way to awareness efforts to alert potential recipients. They range from custodians to meat processors and nurses to emergency responders.
Roughly 667,000 Minnesotans could receive the checks if they apply. And the state expected to start sending them out beginning in September.
A small county in Tennessee for much of the past year has reported the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the South. If only it were true. The rate in Meigs County was artificially inflated by a data error that distorted most of Tennessee’s county-level vaccination rates by attributing tens of thousands of doses to the wrong counties, according to a KHN review of Tennessee’s vaccination data. When the Tennessee Department of Health quietly corrected the error last month, county rates shifted overnight, and Meigs County’s rate of fully vaccinated people dropped from 65% to 43%, which is below the state average and middling in the rural South.
Two former Mayo Clinic employees — Shelly Kiel of Owatonna and Sherry Ihde of Zumbro Falls — filed lawsuits this week claiming they were unfairly fired for refusing COVD-19 vaccines. Their attorney said he will be filing more than 100 similar ones against Mayo Clinic as well as Olmsted Medical Center.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating COVID patients for at least five days, preferably in a separate room with access to their own bathroom, as well as diligent mask-wearing for both patient and caregiver. But for many families, those aren’t easy options. But take heart: Scientists say there is still a lot people can do to protect their families, chief among them improving ventilation and filtration of the air.
It is unclear how much demand is there for the third dose in the 5-11 age group. Just 28.8% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to the latest CDC data.
A KHN review of about a dozen state and county agencies’ grants shows that while some have allocated large portions of the CDC money for projects, they still have spent only a small proportion. Mounting unspent COVID relief dollars is one of the key reasons Republicans in Congress oppose Democrats’ efforts to appropriate billions more federal dollars for managing the pandemic.

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