Hospitalizations In The State Exceed 400By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day after COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanded to those 16 years of age and older, Minnesota health officials on Wednesday reported 12 more deaths and 1,660 additional cases of the virus. Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate is in the “caution” status.

The state is approaching 520,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with nearly 500,000 patients who contracted the virus no longer needing to quarantine themselves. Deaths have totaled 6,848, with 4,276 of the deaths occurring in long-term care and assisted living situations.

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Nearly 40% of Minnesotans 16 years of age and older have received at least one vaccine dose. That’s over 1.6 million people in the state. Over 81% of seniors have received at least one vaccine dose.

Although vaccinations are ramping up, concern for the surging variant cases is growing and health officials are urging vigilance. The state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has been increasing, and as of the latest data from March 22, it is at 5.3%, putting the state in the “caution” status.

Testing, especially in areas of outbreaks, is continuing to be encouraged. Over 3.6 million people have been tested in the state in total, with over 20,000 tests being completed in the last 24 hours.

State Hospitalizations Exceed 400 (Associated Press)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota cases and hospitalizations driven by coronavirus variants in recent weeks continue to steadily climb, even as officials make progress on the state’s vaccination efforts.

Just over 400 patients are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 102 in intensive care — the most since late January, according to the state’s dashboard. While hospitalizations remain fairly lower than a peak late last year that saw more than 1,800 patients hospitalized, including nearly 400 in intensive care, hospitalizations have started to climb as virus variants drive case growth in recent weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday reported 1,660 new cases and 12 more deaths, pushing the state’s totals to 519,529 cases and 6,848 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The test positivity rate has risen over 5% in recent days — a caution threshold for state health officials that indicates the virus is spreading within communities statewide.

Just over 1 million Minnesotans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and more than 1.6 million have received at least one dose. State officials urged Minnesotans 16 and older to “get in line” on Tuesday as eligibility expanded to all adults ahead of an expected increase in supply from the federal government.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)