Carver County Public Health announced it plans to administer its first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to law enforcement and fire department personnel with EMS certification, along with those contractors and employees whose job it is to administer the vaccine.

“While this is only a first step in defeating coronavirus, it’s an important step to protect those whose job it is to protect our community’s safety,” Dr. Richard Scott, Carver County’s Public Health Director, said. “Starting the vaccination phase also brings hope that the journey to end the pandemic has started.”

The county received notification on Monday, Dec. 21 that it should receive around 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which received Federal approvals a few days prior. Following guidance from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, which sets definitions for priority groups to receive vaccines first, the county plans to vaccinate around nine vaccinators (county contractors and employees who physically give the vaccines to others) and approximately 190 law enforcement and fire department personnel from across the county that meet definitions as EMS staff. Receiving the vaccine is voluntary.

The vaccine clinics happen in late December and early January, and these residents receive direct notification that they can receive the vaccine. Scott noted that County Public Health confirmed that all skilled nursing facilities (residents and staff) plan to receive vaccines through pharmacy partners.

Carver County - as of Dec. 28 - has seen 6,102 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, and the county has suffered 33 deaths attributed to the virus.

Minnesota confirms 2,534 virus cases, 40 deaths over 2 days

Minnesota health officials on Sunday reported 2,534 positive COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths from data recorded over the past two days.

The update that combined Friday and Saturday confirmations increased the total of number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 409,061. The cumulative amount of fatalities stands at 5,147, of which 3,332 were in long-term care facilities.

There were about 555 new cases per 100,000 people in Minnesota over the past two weeks, which ranks 42nd in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. One in every 471 people in the state tested positive in the past week.

About 5.48 million COVID-19 tests and 2,999 vaccinations have been completed in Minnesota, health officials said Sunday.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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