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Minnesota hospitalizations due to virus exceed 400

MINNEAPOLIS — 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.