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An additional 11,560 cases were added as case rates continued to rise.

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Minnesota ended the second week of January as it began – experiencing an unparalleled growth in coronavirus cases due to its highly contagious delta variant.

More than a fifth of tests are positive for COVID-19 and the state is adding about 155 new cases per 100,000 residents every day. The 11,560 new infections recorded Friday mean Minnesota added more than 63,000 new cases in less than a week.

Another 32 deaths were also reported, bringing the pandemic total to 10,971 deaths. Nine of those killed live in long-term care and 23 live in private homes.

The latest deaths reported include three people in their 30s and two in their 40s. The oldest ones were in their late 90s.

There are 1,616 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 260 are in intensive care. The last time more than 1,600 people were hospitalized with coronavirus was in mid-December when the number of hospitalizations last peaked at around 1,680 people.

Health officials have said repeatedly this week they expect the state’s outbreak to get worse before it gets better. Governor Tim Walz is seeking $40 million in pandemic aid to hire about 300 nurses to work 60 hours a week for the next 60 days.

Vaccines are still considered the best way to avoid serious infections and slow the spread. However, the protective vaccine wears off over time, and boosters are recommended for everyone 12 years of age and older.

The omicron variant, thought to be responsible for nearly all new infections, also shows potential for vaccine avoidance. But health officials say cases are often less severe, especially in people who have been vaccinated.

However, breakouts in fully vaccinated residents account for about 25% of infections since vaccination began.

Minnesota has administered nearly 9 million doses of the vaccine, including 1.8 million boosters. About 3.5 million eligible Minnesotans, or 68 percent, have completed their vaccine series.

https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/14/covid-19-friday-update-11560-more-infections-as-case-rates-continue-to-grow/ An additional 11,560 cases were added as case rates continued to rise.

Sarah Ridley

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