By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The average positivity rate continues its climb, hitting 21.6% in the latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Other key figures are also on the rise: the state is seeing 154.6 cases per 100,000 residents, a steep ascent from 52.8, which was recorded less than a month ago. Hospitalizations are at 23.1 per 100,000 residents.

Credit: Minnesota Department Of Health

In the last two weeks, cases in the state have tripled due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday said the state is “in the worst of it,” and doesn’t anticipate the situation to alleviate for “10 to 14 days.”

Health officials on Friday reported an additional 11,560 cases, roughly a quarter of which were recorded in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. An additional 32 deaths were also reported.

The update brings the state’s total case count to over 1.13 million, and 10,971 Minnesotans have lost their lives due to the virus. Of the deaths reported Friday, three people were in their 30s. Six of the deaths were recorded in late 2021.

There were 1,616 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus on Thursday afternoon, 260 of whom were in the ICU. Over 80% of hospitals statewide have no available adult ICU beds. In northeast and central Minnesota, there are no staffed ICU beds available.

Meanwhile, over 8.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Minnesota including boosters, and 72.8% of the eligible population has received at least their first dose.

Due to the COVID surge, mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis instituted a vaccine mandate for any business which serves food and drink, including restaurants, bars, and sports venues. The order goes into effect on Wednesday.

FAQ: What To Know About The Vaccination Requirement For Bars, Restaurants In Minneapolis, St. Paul

The two cities also instituted mask mandates last week, and since then, other cities have followed suit. Duluth declared a 30-day mask mandate on Thursday, Minnetonka will discuss a potential requirement at a meeting on Friday.