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Vaccination numbers rise as COVID cases decline

We are beginning to see progress in the battle against COVID-19. We don’t know if this statistic, reported Tuesday, is meaningful, but it is heartening — Minnesota now has nearly as many people who have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine than it has recorded cases of the virus. That’s 447,610 vaccinations to 463,132 cases of COVID-19.

And it shouldn’t be long before vaccinations surpass cases. The state has been recording fewer than 1,000 new cases per day for the past couple of weeks. In November the state was seeing 6,000, 7,000 and over 8,000 on Nov. 16. The number of deaths has been dropping as well.

The state is still working on getting more vaccines and figuring out the most efficient way to get doses to the people who need it most. Brown County Public Health announced Friday it has nearly completed vaccinating the “1a” group, the frontline hospita care and long term health care workers and the residents of long term care. It is moving on to the next level — teachers, child care providers and people over 65. But vaccine supplies are still extremely limited, and those eligible should wait to hear from their health care providers.

That glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is still faint and far away, so we should all keep up with the precautions we have been practicing all year — wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distance, frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces and avoiding large social groups when possible.

We can get through this. The numbers are giving us reason to hope.

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