COVID-19 in MN: Hospital needs hit 2021 highs as surge worsens – Community News
Covid-19

COVID-19 in MN: Hospital needs hit 2021 highs as surge worsens

3 things to know:

  • State nearly 9,000 pandemic deaths

  • 32,388 known active cases, 1,245 currently hospitalized

  • 74.4 percent of residents 12 years and older with at least one vaccine dose

Updated 11:53am

The summer fall surge from COVID-19 continues to plague Minnesota, with key stats hitting new, worrying highs for the year. Active and newly reported cases are trending at levels not seen since mid-December.

Hospital admissions are particularly worrying at the moment.

The number of beds that dropped below 100 in mid-July rose in the late fall, putting enormous strain on staff-deficient healthcare systems – 1,245 people are now hospitalized with COVID; 296 need intensive care. Those are the highest numbers of the entire year.

Chart showing COVID-19 hospitalizations by region

The latest wave of COVID-19 and staff shortages are overwhelming hospitals in central Minnesota. CentraCare and Carris Health, which operate hospitals in St. Cloud, Willmar and other smaller communities, say those hospitals are full.

Employees struggle to find beds for seriously ill patients. Others wait hours to be seen in the emergency room.

“The pressure on resources and the almost limitless amount of people who need our help now is a combination I don’t think many of us have ever experienced,” said Bryan Bauck, Western Region executive director for rural health for CentraCare.

New COVID-19 Cases by Minnesota Region

Bauck wrote that the tension is due to a combination of an increase in COVID-19 cases, patients needing care for other illnesses, and people who have postponed care for the past year and a half.

CentraCare officials are urging people not to seek treatment for non-emergency conditions in the emergency room at St. Cloud Hospital, where patients wait hours for care.

“We’re on a community advocacy, use the health care resources the right way at the right time in the right place because we definitely want to help you and we’re going to help you, but we’re getting stuck in some other areas, and we just don’t have capacity — and you’re going to wait,” said Rachel Mockros, director of emergency preparedness.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by age

CentraCare is also asking the community to help by getting vaccinated, maintaining social distancing and masking. It also encourages people with healthcare experience to consider working or volunteering.

Earlier this week, HealthPartners’ medical system reported “the highest number of patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals since last December. And many of our hospitals are at or near capacity.”

State officials are now advocating for Minnesotans to ensure the disease is not spread as Thanksgiving and other year-end celebrations approach and children return home from college.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

“We’ve been in a really alarming spike in cases in the last few days,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the current surge is due in part to declining vaccine immunity in some who are diagnosed early in the year. were vaccinated.

Driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the entire state is showing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Minnesota had an average of about 3,800 new cases per day for the past seven reporting days. Active cases also peaked in 2021 – 32,388.

Active, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

The percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive continued to climb, reaching more than 9 percent, according to MPR News calculations, exceeding the 5 percent officials find and an important signal that the virus is accelerating transmission.

The state’s death toll stands at 8,996, including 28 newly reported deaths on Friday. Deaths usually follow a rise in cases and hospitalizations. In previous COVID-19 waves, this was the last of the key metrics to improve.

New COVID-19-related deaths reported every day in Minnesota

Last year’s death rates were driven by nursing home residents, where deaths are now much lower. People outside of long-term care are dying at nearly the same rate as last fall.

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 more than 70 percent have been now fully vaccinated.

Chart of total COVID-19 vaccinations by age

The state is seeing progress in getting booster shots in Minnesotans who are already vaccinated.

New COVID-19 vaccine doses sent and given.

However, the battle continues to get more Minnesotans vaccinated. Large gaps in vaccination coverage remain between regions and provinces.

Map of Minnesota COVID-19 Eligible Vaccination Rate

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