Minnesota on Tuesday reported a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 8.3% that is the highest in the vaccine era and a level of hospitalizations that hasn’t been seen since the first shots against the coronavirus were administered in mid-December.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota reached 960 on Monday and included 254 people needing intensive care because of breathing problems or other complications. While that is below the record 1,864 hospitalizations on Nov. 29, it is the highest in 2021 and combines with patients with trauma and other illnesses to fill up 96% of available intensive care beds and 93% of non-ICU beds.
The escalating COVID-19 wave, fueled by a fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus, is a gut punch to public health leaders who hoped that vaccination progress would knock out the pandemic. More than 75% of eligible Minnesotans 12 and older have received COVID-19 vaccine since the first doses were provided Dec. 14–15 to a group of tribal leaders in Bemidji and nurses at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
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