Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Active cases leap to new pandemic high

3 things to know:

  • The number of newly reported and active cases is increasing

  • The rate of positive tests exceeds 12%; officials find 5 percent regarding

  • 1,508 hospitalized, 257 in intensive care

Minnesota continues to be hit by the post-vacation wave caused by the COVID omicron mutation.

The latest figures from the state’s health ministry show that the number of new cases has averaged nearly 10,000 per day over the past seven reporting days. Confirmed and active cases have risen to nearly 52,000 – a number that has more than doubled in the past two weeks and is now at its peak in the pandemic.

The percentage of COVID tests that come back positive tends to exceed 12%, according to calculations by MPR News – about double the 5% that officials find worrying.

While the data is still somewhat muddled – most of the new cases reported on Wednesday were from the end of last week – there’s no doubt the state is grappling with a massive surge that started in the metro area of Twin Cities but is overwhelming much of the state now.

New cases of COVID-19 by region of Minnesota

Data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that all counties in Minnesota currently have a high level of transmission of the virus.

“The omicron surge has most definitely reached Minnesota,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters last week. She said it was spreading “like wildfire” here and across the country and “we just have to expect this to be the norm for us in the coming weeks.”

COVID-related hospitalizations remain high – 1,508 people are hospitalized, including 257 requiring intensive care. While ICU admissions tend to decline, non-ICU hospital admissions are increasing sharply.

Graph showing COVID-19 hospitalizations by region

Minnesota hospital CEOs last week pleaded with people not to go to emergency rooms to request COVID testing or other non-urgent care. “The hospitals are literally full,” the group warned. “Intensive care is full, emergency departments are full, medico-surgical units are full, hallways are full and surgeries are canceled.”

Governor Tim Walz said on Wednesday he hoped to tap $ 40 million from the state’s share of federal COVID aid to help increase hospital staff, including costs for nurses who “will work 60 hours. per week for 60 days to provide patient care at some hospitals in Minnesota facing staff shortages due to COVID-19. “

The state’s death toll stands at 10,887, including 49 newly reported deaths on Wednesday. Deaths usually follow an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations. In previous COVID-19 waves, this has been the last of the key metrics to improve.

New COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota every day

Thanks to vaccinations, Minnesota is better positioned now than during its peaks in fall 2020 and spring 2021. Almost 77 percent of state residents aged 12 and older have received at least one vaccine, with nearly 73 percent now fully immunized.

Graph showing total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

The state is seeing progress in providing boosters to Minnesotans who have already been vaccinated.

However, the fight continues to get the first shots in more of Minnesotans. Large differences remain in vaccination rates between regions and counties.

Minnesota COVID-19 Eligible Vaccination Rate Map

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