MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The average positivity rate continues to rise, hitting 21.6% in the latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Other key figures are also rising: The state sees 154.6 cases per. 100,000 inhabitants, a steep increase from 52.8, which was recorded less than a month ago. Admissions are 23.1 per. 100,000 inhabitants.
In the last two weeks, cases in the state have tripled due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. Governor Tim Walz said Thursday that the state is “in the worst,” and does not expect the situation to ease in “10 to 14 days.”
Health authorities reported an additional 11,560 cases on Friday, about a quarter of which were recorded in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. A further 32 deaths were also reported.
The update brings the state’s total case numbers to over 1.13 million, and 10,971 Minnesota residents have lost their lives due to the virus. Of the deaths reported Friday, three were in their 30s. Six of the deaths were recorded in late 2021.
There were 1,616 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus Thursday afternoon, 260 of whom were in the intensive care unit. Over 80% of hospitals across the country have no available ICU beds for adults. In northeastern and central Minnesota, there are no manned intensive care units 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 increase, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis a vaccine mandate for any business serving food and drink, including restaurants, bars and sports venues. The executive order enters into force on Wednesday.
FAQ: What to know about the vaccination requirement for bars, restaurants in Minneapolis, St. Paul
The two cities also introduced mask mandates last week, and since then other cities have followed suit. Duluth declared a 30-day mask mandate Thursday, Minnetonka will discuss a potential claim to a meeting on Friday.