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COVID In Minnesota: 12,000 New Cases Reported As Average Positivity Rate Continues To Decline

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- While more data is suggesting Minnesota has passed the peak of the Omicron surge, state health officials reported Monday 12,098 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 more deaths.

Among the newly-reported deaths was an Anoka County resident in their early 40s. Since the start of the pandemic, 11,411 people have died in Minnesota, and 1,321,753 cases have been detected, including more than 47,000 reinfections.

The state's seven-day average positivity rate continues to decline from a peak reached earlier this month. The latest figure for the rate is 22.3%; a week earlier, it was at 23.7%. Average rates for weekly tests and new cases have also fallen sharply over the last week.

Hospitalizations are not falling as fast. As of Friday, there were 208 people in Minnesota hospitals battling COVID in intensive care beds, with more than 1,200 other patients requiring hospitalization for the virus.

Last week, data scientists at the Mayo Clinic said that Minnesota likely already reached the peak of the Omicron surge. They warned, however, that the surge is only halfway over and that thousands of more Minnesotans will be infected in the coming weeks, leading to more hospitalizations.

For the Twin Cities, wastewater data showed last week that the metro area saw its Omicron peak earlier this month. The amount of the virus detected at a St. Paul facility has since dropped fivefold.

Experts and health officials are still urging Minnesotans to get booster shots as a way to defend against severe illness from Omicron or other variants. If boosters aren't widely taken, it's possible that the pandemic could yet cause more disruptions in the future, experts say.

Currently, a number of cities in Minnesota are under newly-issued mask mandates. Moreover, residents in St. Paul and Minneapolis are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test if going out to a restaurant, bar, movie or sporting event. These new mandates were created to be in place until the Omicron surge subsides.

Nearly 9.2 million vaccine doses have been distributed in Minnesota over the last year, including more than 2 million boosters. Nearly 70% of Minnesotans ages 5 and older have had at least two shots of the vaccine.

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