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Coronavirus in Minnesota: hospitals feel the strain as case numbers continue to rise

MDH reported Tuesday 92.7 percent of the state’s intensive care beds are in use, as are 91 percent of non-ICU beds.

Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert

On Tuesdays, MinnPost provides weekly updates that cover COVID-19 developments in Minnesota from the previous Wednesday to present. 

This week in COVID-19 news

In the midst of the Minnesota State Fair, COVID-19 cases continue to tick upward and hospitals are feeling the strain. MDH reported Tuesday 92.7 percent of the state’s intensive care beds are in use, as are 91 percent of non-ICU beds. While that’s not entirely due to COVID-19, the pandemic is still a significant cause of hospitalization in the state. MPR News reported Monday hospitals across the state say they have staff shortages, too. (In Louisiana, hospitals full of COVID-19 patients have made challenges posed by Hurricane Ida even more difficult.)

Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday morning that 1,199 people have received a vaccine dose at the fair. People who get their first dose of a vaccine at the fair can get a $100 Visa gift card. Health officials say they won’t know the full impact of the fair on the pandemic until after it’s over. Attendance is down amid bad weather and the pandemic, though Sunday was the busiest day so far.

U.S. intelligence agencies are still divided over the origins of COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.

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Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show the state added 10,905 new COVID-19 cases in the seven days between Aug. 25 and Tuesday, for an average of 1,557 new cases per day. That’s up from a 1,386 new case daily average the week prior. At the height of the pandemic in late November of 2020, Minnesota averaged more than 7,000 new cases per day.

The most recent seven-day case positivity average — or the average share of positive cases out of total COVID-19 tests — is 6.6 percent, up from 6 percent the week prior. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.

As of Aug. 1, the state reports 12,559 of 3,028,670 fully vaccinated Minnesotans have had known breakthrough COVID-19 cases. While vaccines are highly effective at protecting people from contracting COVID-19, they’re not perfect. They still do prevent nearly all hospitalizations and deaths from the disease. Of those 12,559 reported breakthrough cases, the state reports 810 people were hospitalized (0.027 percent of the fully vaccinated) and 80 people died (0.002 percent of the fully vaccinated). 

Deaths and hospitalizations

Minnesota added 36 new COVID-19 deaths in the last week, down from 38 the week prior. (Deaths did not necessarily occur in the week in which they were reported because deaths are not always reported and confirmed immediately.)

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Minnesota. As of Tuesday, 164 people are in intensive care with COVID-19, while 425 are hospitalized and not in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 153 were in intensive care and 394 were hospitalized and not in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.

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The most recent data show 59.6 percent of all Minnesotans, (3.31 million people), had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 55.9 percent of Minnesotans (3.11 million people) had completed the vaccine series. A week ago, 59.1 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose and 55 percent had completed the vaccine series. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.

This week on MinnPost

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