Minnesota virus positivity rate reaches 15.6% in new record

Published 4:55 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota’s COVID-19 positivity rate over the past seven days reached 15.6% on Friday, emphasizing the rapid spread of the omicron variant across the state.

State health officials have said they expect a new surge of case growth for at least the next month. The Star Tribune reported that Minnesota’s previous positivity rate record came early in the pandemic in April 2020 when testing capacity was much more limited.

More than 7,800 new infections were reported on Friday, and nearly 1,200 Minnesotans hospitalized with COVID-19, including 269 in intensive care as of Thursday.

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The Minnesota Hospital Association in a statement on Friday urged people to look for tests in settings other than hospital emergency rooms due to a high number of patients statewide. Emergency departments, intensive care and surgical units are full, which is increasing wait times for medical emergencies and causing surgeries to be canceled.

“We have run out of words to describe what we are undergoing — a crisis does not even come close; hospitals are literally full,” the association said. “We urgently need the public’s help to keep our emergency departments available for medical emergencies. Please do not go to emergency departments or urgent care centers for a COVID-19 test.”