3 things to know:
State surpasses 9,000 pandemic deaths
1,348 currently hospitalized, a peak in 2021; 32,008 known active cases
74.5 percent of residents aged 12 years and older with at least 1 shot of vaccination
Updated 2:56 PM
COVID-19 is putting pressure on hospitals as a wave hits Minnesota in the summer and fall.
Key stats are at or near their highest levels since December, with the number rising rapidly. The percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive reached 10 percent Tuesday, according to MPR News calculations. That’s twice what officials are thinking about — an important signal that the virus is accelerating the spread of the virus.
“Minnesota is now the fastest growing hot spot in the country,” based on the number of cases per 100,000 people, Minnesota health commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters on Tuesday. “We are all tired of this pandemic, but it’s not even almost over.”
The state is concerned enough about the current situation that officials plan to move forward this week to offer vaccine booster shots to any eligible Minnesota who wants one, she added.
Hospital admissions are particularly worrying at the moment. Bed counts that dropped below 100 in mid-July jumped in late fall; 1,348 people are now hospitalized with COVID – the highest number all year – and 307 require intensive care.
Hospital directors across the state say COVID and other needs are overwhelmingly understaffed care centers.
While the overall hospital needs of COVID are still below the worst of the 2020 peak, this wave is complicated by the fact that hospitals this time are seeing more patients needing care for other illnesses and people who have postponed care for the past year and a half.
State officials have pleaded with Minnesotans to ensure the disease is not spread as Thanksgiving and other year-end celebrations approach and children return home from college.
There is also growing concern that schools, especially primary schools where children have been too young to vaccinate, could help accelerate the spread of the community.
Driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the entire state except Lake of the Woods County is showing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The current rise is largely driven by the rising number of cases in greater Minnesota.
People aged 30-49 are the age group with the most new cases at the moment, but cases among school-age children are also a concern. Weekly positive cases in school settings are the highest in nearly four months, officials said Tuesday.
The latest numbers have been especially grim given some past data slowdowns. Minnesota had an average of about 4,500 new cases per day for the past seven reporting days. The number of known active cases remained high at 32,008, although that was slightly lower than Monday’s record in 2021.
The state has seen its average daily number of cases rise 67 percent in the past two weeks, putting Michigan neck-and-neck with the country’s worst current rise.
The state’s death toll stands at 9,047, including 51 newly reported deaths on Tuesday. Deaths usually follow a rise in the number of cases and hospitalizations. In previous COVID-19 waves, this was the last of the key metrics to improve.
Minnesota now looks better positioned than it was during its fall 2020 and spring 2021 peaks. More than 74 percent of state residents ages 12 and older have received at least one shot of vaccination, and nearly 71 percent are now fully vaccinated.
The state is seeing progress in getting booster shots in Minnesotans who are already vaccinated.
Malcolm said Tuesday that the state is closely monitoring federal discussions about booster shots for all people, and that Minnesota is poised to move forward with boosters for all eligible MN adults this week if the FBI doesn’t approve them first. .
However, the battle continues to get the first shots in more Minnesotans. Large gaps in vaccination coverage remain between regions and provinces.
Unvaccinated much more likely to be hospitalized, die
State data provides striking evidence of vaccine effectiveness in Minnesota.
Adjusted for age, unvaccinated Minnesotans are about four times more likely to get COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated — and 16 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from it.
The shots don’t completely isolate people from getting COVID-19, of course.
The Minnesota Health Department’s figures released Friday show that about 40 percent of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota among people 12 years or older were breakthroughs — people who had previously been vaccinated — as of a month ago, the most. recent available data.
The proportion of breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths has steadily risen in recent months. However, health officials say this is not surprising or even alarming.
More than 70 percent of Minnesota residents age 12 or older have been fully vaccinated, meaning the disease has spread in recent months and the virus has met many vaccinated people.
Listen to Tuesday’s Minnesota Health Department briefing on the pandemic:
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