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Coronavirus in Minnesota: state sees first omicron case

Minnesota’s case positivity rate was up, currently standing at 11.5 percent.

COVID-19
COVID-19
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

The omicron variant has been detected in Europe and America, including in Minnesota. The state’s first documented case was found in Peter McGinn of Minneapolis, who traveled recently to New York for an anime convention.

Since his visit, 15 other people in New York who attended the anime convention with McGinn contracted COVID-19. It’s unclear how many of the 15 have the omicron variant.

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Early research into the omicron variant carried out by the South African scientists who found it suggests that the variant may be highly transmissible, but less severe than other variants. But, because the researchers are still in the early stages of studying the omicron variant, they acknowledge that they are unsure if their findings will hold true.

Cases

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show the state added 33,075 new COVID-19 cases in the seven days between last Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Tues. Dec. 7, for an average of 4,725 new cases per day. That’s up from a 3,572 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 11.5 percent, up from 10.6 percent the week prior. You can find the seven-day case positivity average here.

As of the week beginning Oct. 31, the most recent data available, Minnesota had confirmed 103,764 breakthrough COVID-19 infections, representing about 3.1 percent of fully vaccinated people in the state. There were 4,299 hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people (0.13 percent of fully vaccinated people) and 737 deaths (0.02 percent of fully vaccinated people). More data on breakthroughs here.

Deaths and hospitalizations

Minnesota added 317 new COVID-19 deaths in the last week. Minnesota added 153 new COVID-19 deaths in the week prior. (This week’s data includes some data on deaths that would have been reported last week but was delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday. Additionally, 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, 1,286 people are in the hospital non in intensive care with COVID-19, while 335 are hospitalized in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 1,189 were hospitalized not in intensive care and 343 were hospitalized in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.

Vaccines

The most recent data show 66.1 percent of Minnesotans (3.68 million people) had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 61.3 percent of Minnesotans (3.41 million people) had completed the vaccine series. A week ago, 65.6 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose and 60.4 had completed the vaccine series. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.

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