By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s average positivity rate has now surged to 19.1%, shattering records as the state grapples with the spreading Omicron variant. Average daily cases have also hit a new record of 134.4 per 100,000 residents.

The previous high for daily new cases was 125.9, recorded in mid-November of 2020. Health officials have drawn the line for “high risk” at 10.

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Credit: Minnesota Department of Health

The Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday reported 29,487 new cases and 38 additional deaths. Four of the deaths took place in December, the MDH reports.

The daily update from the MDH shows that since March of 2020, there have been 1,104,494 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 22,098 reinfections. In all, 10,838 Minnesotans have died of COVID.

Experts say the worst of the pandemic is still to come. On Sunday, Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm told WCCO-TV that cases in the coming weeks will “literally skyrocket.”

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Credit: Minnesota Department of Health

“We are going to see the highest numbers that we’ve seen yet in the pandemic, and unfortunately our hospitals are very, very full already,” she added.

Hospitalizations per 100,000 residents are increasing again, after declining in December. The figure is back up to 17.8, and anything above 8 is considered “high risk.”

On Monday afternoon, there were over 1,500 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, and 263 of them were in the ICU. Staffed ICU beds are in short supply statewide, with less than 1% available in the metro area. There are only 11 staffed pediatric beds available in Minnesota.

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Meanwhile, more than 8.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Minnesota, including over 1.8 million boosters. Roughly 72.4% of the state’s 5-and-older population has received their first dose.