Thank you for being a reader of MinnPost’s weekly COVID-19 updates. As we announced last week, we will discontinue our weekly COVID-19 reports after Tuesday, May 3. That’s not because COVID-19 is over — it isn’t. But we are shifting our focus away from this medium. In next week’s update — our last — we’ll leave you with a rundown of the tools we use to analyze COVID-19 caseloads in the state. —Greta
This week in COVID-19 news
COVID-19 is on the rise again in Minnesota. Daily average case numbers are more than double what they were last week.
The most recent wastewater data from the Metropolitan Council show COVID-19 levels ticking up in the Twin Cities. The amount of viral RNA in the wastewater is now at levels not seen since February. At last count, 93 percent of the COVID-19 RNA was the BA.2 “stealth” omicron subvariant.
It’s not just the metro: Wastewater data from other state regions suggest a rise across the board.
Whatever this COVID-19 wave ends up looking like, experts have said it’s likely to be different than past ones because many more people are vaccinated — and a lot of people got omicron earlier this year.
Still, if caseloads take a big turn for the worse, we’ll likely see more hospitalizations, and probably more deaths. We just don’t know to what degree, yet. So far, we’ve seen non-ICU hospitalizations increase steadily in the last few weeks, while ICU hospitalizations have remained flat.
Data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) show the state added 9,009 new COVID-19 cases between April 20 and April 26, averaging 1,287 new cases per day, significantly higher than last week, which saw an average of 724 cases per day.
Deaths and hospitalizations
Minnesota has reported 19 COVID-19 deaths since last Wednesday. Last week, the state reported 24 deaths. (Deaths did not necessarily occur in the week in which they were reported because deaths are not always reported and confirmed immediately.)
COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations remain flat compared to last week, while non-ICU hospitalizations have risen. As of Tuesday, 20 people are in intensive care with COVID-19, while 235 are hospitalized and not in intensive care. Last Tuesday, 21 individuals were in intensive care and 205 were hospitalized and not in intensive care. More information on Minnesota’s current hospitalizations here.
The most recent data show 66.5 percent of Minnesotans had completed a COVID-19 primary vaccine series, while 45.9 were up-to-date on their shots (meaning they have completed the primary series and received a booster if recommended). A week ago, 66.4 percent of Minnesotans had completed the vaccine series, and 45.9 percent were up-to-date. More data on the state’s vaccination efforts can be found here.
Outside of the state, the White House announced Tuesday that Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19. Harris is fully vaccinated and had her second COVID-19 booster dose on April 1, the AP reported. She had no symptoms and will continue to work remotely while isolating. President Joe Biden is not considered a “close contact” as Biden and Harris haven’t met in person since April 18.
This week on MinnPost
- MinnPost’s COVID-19 dashboard