By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Holiday travelers are now on the move, and before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 3,759 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 deaths.

In all, Minnesota has recorded 891,099 COVID-19 cases and 9,282 deaths. There have been 9,997 instances of reinfection.

The positivity rate has been rising as of late, and sits at 11% as of last week. It’s above the 10% “high risk” threshold, and new daily cases per 100,000 residents is last reported at 74.9. The high risk line for that figure is at 10.

As people gather for Thanksgiving, health officials are encouraging vaccinations and booster shots. Last week, the FDA and CDC authorized booster doses for all adults six months after completing a Pfizer or Moderna series, or two months after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccine experts tell WCCO that Minnesota is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases right now because so many got their vaccines early, and the protection offered by the shots dwindles over time.

Minnesota has administered over 904,000 booster doses and 7.6 million vaccines total. MDH data shows that 65% of the state’s total population has received their first vaccine dose, and 19% of 5- to 11-year-olds have had their first shot.

The state is currently second in the nation for administering booster shots, according to Gov. Tim Walz. He added that Minnesota is also sixth in the nation for administering vaccines to 5- to 11-year-olds, and 80% of adults have at least one dose.

As many hospitals reach capacity with sick COVID-19 patients, two deployments from the U.S. Department of Defense are helping relieve health care workers at Hennepin County Medical Center and St. Cloud Hospital.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 1,420 people in Minnesota hospitals with COVID-19, of which 326 were in the ICU.

The eastern part of the state has less than 5% staffed ICU bed availability, and central Minnesota does not have any pediatric ICU beds available.

The additional military staff at the two hospitals will be up and running by Thanksgiving day. Officials say roughly 400 Minnesota National Guard troops are also training to become certified nursing assistants and will help at nursing homes, which are facing staffing shortages.