2022 is the year of fresh starts. (Unless, of course, we are referring to the pandemic that has been following us around since 2020.)

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Everything has been COVID-this, COVID-that for the past couple of years. It seems the virus is unavoidable, and at times, it feels like there is no end in sight.

As of Jan. 25, the Minnesota Department of Health's update included 35,504 newly reported cases and 37 newly reported deaths, bringing the state's COVID-19 death toll to 11,230.

However, Joe Nelson from Bring Me the News noted the silver lining, writing:

"Minnesota's test positivity rate on a 7-day rolling average (through Jan. 14) was 23.2%, which is down from 23.7% and the first drop in the statewide positivity rate since falling to 8.2% on Dec. 18."

It isn't a huge decrease, but it is indeed a decrease, and at this point, I'll take what we can get.

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Nelson does go on to remind readers that "anything over 10% puts Minnesota in the high-risk threshold for community transmission of the coronavirus."

But let's focus on the positives because hospitalizations are also trending downward. 

"Through Jan. 24, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 1,507 – down from the 1,566 reported on Jan. 21. Of those hospitalized, 228 people are in intensive care (down from 238) and 1,279 are in non-ICU care (down from 1,329)."

This is great news, as that means hospitals have a few more beds available. Currently, there are 34 adult ICU beds available, which is up from 29 on Jan. 21.

It's not much, but it can provide us with a glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, this pandemic will end within our lifetime.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers

  • Total tests: 17,698,075 (up from 17,563,384)
  • People with at least 1 vaccine shot: 3,825,849 (up from 3,816,297)
  • People who have completed vaccine series: 3,583,371 (up from 3,575,871)
  • People who have had a booster/3rd shot: 1,993,618 (up from 1,962,781)
  • Positive cases: 1,264,935 (up from 1,229,444)
  • Reinfection cases: 41,935 (up from 38,230)
  • Deaths: 11,230 – 687 of which are "probable*" (up from 11,193)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 1,211,499 (up from 1,165,441)

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.