Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate falls below benchmark 10%
Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate falls below benchmark 10%

Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate falls below benchmark 10%

Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate has fallen below the 10% high-risk threshold for the first time since December, a sign that the omicron variant’s wave of pandemics continues to ease here.

The last time the state registered the 9.9% positivity it had in the week ending February 9 was Christmas Day. It peaked at almost 24% in January as the omicron variant spread rapidly but caused a lower incidence of serious infections.

Hospital admissions are also declining, from 898 on Monday to 808 on Wednesday, including 125 people in intensive care.

On Thursday, the state reported a further 27 COVID-19 deaths and 1,853 infections.

State health officials this week expanded a program to provide free rapid home tests to Minnesota residents. The Minnesota Department of Health distributes 347,000 faster antigen test kits, each containing two tests, to local and tribal public health agencies and food shelves. Providers will tell their communities how to pick up the tests.

“Rapid testing is a key tool Minnesotans can use to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 to their families and communities. Even when transmission rates fall, it is important that Minnesotans use resources as rapid testing if they feel ill. “Minnesota Health” said Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a statement.

Minnesota has reported more than 1.4 million positive cases and 11,930 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

Back-to-back pandemic waves, stemming from the rapidly spreading delta and omicron variants, have kept Minnesotans on edge since July. Hospitals were overcrowded in early December with the number of open adult intensive care units at single digits.

Hospital admissions increased briefly during the omicron wave, especially in children under 4 years of age who were not eligible for vaccination, but COVID-19 ICU numbers did not increase.

To date, more than 3.6 million Minnesota residents have been fully vaccinated, and more than 2.1 million have received booster shots, the Department of Health reports.

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