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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The number of new COVID-19 infections in the Rochester area last week was the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.

Olmsted County Public Health reported 30 new COVID-19 infections last week. It was the lowest weekly total since 15 new cases were reported for the week that ended on March 16th of last year. The total count from the previous week was 48. It finally dropped below 100 in mid-March after 34 consecutive weeks with more than 100 new infections in Olmsted County. The highest weekly total occurred in mid-November when 872 new cases were reported.

The number of new infections is forecast to continue falling in the Rochester area and throughout Minnesota. Olmsted County Public Health says an average of four new cases were detected daily during the past week, which was down from seven the prior week. The Mayo Clinic COVID-19 forecasting model is projecting the daily average will shrink to between zero and one within the next two weeks.

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Statewide, the Minnesota Department of Health today reported only 128 new infections and zero additional coronavirus-related deaths. Five of the new cases were found in Olmsted County, where there are only 26 known active infections.

The latest vaccination statistics show about 81.5 percent of Olmsted County residents over the age of 15 have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and almost 74 percent are fully vaccinated.

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.