By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Thanksgiving Day, Gov. Tim Walz issued a special thank you to hospital workers in Minnesota as they helped hundreds of patients battling COVID-19.

The governor tweeted Thursday afternoon saying he was grateful for the sacrifices Minnesotans are making on the holiday to keep their relatives, neighbors and frontline workers safe. He also expressed condolences for those who lost loved ones during the pandemic to the virus or other causes.

“I know how devastating it is sitting across from their empty seat at your Thanksgiving table,” he said. “Minnesota grieves with you.”

The governor and Minnesota health officials have urged Minnesotans to dial back their Thanksgiving celebrations this year, keeping it to immediate family members, as over the last few weeks the state has experienced record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations.

As of Tuesday, more than 1,800 people with COVID-19 were battling the virus in Minnesota hospitals, with a record 387 patients in intensive care beds. According to the state’s Response Capacity Dashboard, 80% of the state’s ICU beds are full, with one in three of those patients suffering with COVID.

Since the start of the outbreak in March, nearly 290,000 Minnesotans have tested positive for the virus and 3,375 people have died.