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COVID levels rise by 50% in Minnesota compared to pre-Thanksgiving levels

Minnesota COVID cases rise through Thanksgiving
Minnesota COVID cases rise through Thanksgiving 00:34

MINNEAPOLIS — New wastewater data from the University of Minnesota shows an uptick in COVID-19 cases statewide.

The data runs through Nov. 26, when people were still traveling for the holiday. Statewide, the data show there has been a 51% increase in COVID over the last two weeks, and a 21% increase over the last week. During the week of Thanksgiving more than 180 people in Minnesota were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Minnesota Wastewater Surveillance Study

For the week of Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a statewide case rate of 68.96 per 100,000 people.

RELATED: More free COVID-19 tests can be ordered now, as uptick looms

The metro area saw a 61% increase in viral load over the last two weeks, and a 28% increase in the last week. 

Minnesota Wastewater Surveillance Study

Areas of northern and northwestern Minnesota — including Bemidji, Moorhead, and Thief River Falls — all saw an increase of over 250% in the last two weeks. However, COVID loads in southern Minnesota — including Albert Lea, Rochester, Lanesboro, and Winona — remained steady compared to the weeks prior.

The Centers for Disease Control says that COVID-19 activity remains elevated nationwide, though RSV test positivity exceeds COVID-19 test positivity. Minnesota's respiratory illness activity level remains minimal compared to the rest of the nation. 

MORE: Minnesotans feel COVID-19's lingering presence

Still, the CDC recommends that all people ages 6 months and older stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and their seasonal flu vaccine. Uptake has been lower than what organization was hoping for: As of Nov. 18, 15.7% of adults have received their updated COVID-19 vaccine. 

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