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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic is expecting nearly 8,000 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine by the end of next week.

Dr. Andrew Badley addressed the media today concerning the Mayo Clinic's pandemic related operations and its preparations for the vaccination program, which is scheduled to begin next Monday. He says Mayo anticipates receiving about 2900 doses this week, followed by another 4900 doses next week.

The initial focus of the vaccination effort will be on health care personnel facing the highest risk of exposure to the virus, but as supplies grow, Dr. Badley says more and more Mayo Clinic staff and patients will become eligible to receive the vaccination. He says a system will be put in place to notify Mayo patients when the vaccine will be available to them, but what form that notification will take has yet to be determined.

Dr. Badley says the impact of the pandemic on the Mayo Clinic's operations continues to moderate. The number of COVID patients in Rochester has dropped from 83 last week to 55, as of Monday. 16 of those patients are in intensive care. He says the percentage of Mayo's staff in the Midwest absent from work due to coronavirus reasons dropped from 2-percent a week ago to about 1.5-percent today. Dr. Badley notes that while the numbers are encouraging, they remain high.

The Minnesota Department of Health today reported 21 coronavirus-related deaths throughout the state including the death of a Houston County resident in their early 90s. About 2350 new COVID-19 cases were reported statewide and 47 new infections were detected in Olmsted County.

Just under 31,000 COVID tests were completed on Monday, which put the daily testing positivity rate at 7.5-percent. The rolling one-week positivity rate now stands at just under 12.5-percent.

There was a slight increase in the overall number of Minnesotans hospitalized due to COVID-19, while the number of those patients being treated in intensive care fell to 300, which is down nearly 20 when compared to the previous day.

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