Despite Minnesota continuing to report high numbers of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths there is ongoing evidence that suggest the latest surge, driven by the highly-contagious omicron variant, is at its peak.
State health officials appear to be making progress on a backlog of cases that had skewed measures of test-positivity during much of the previous surge. About one in 10 positive tests were waiting to be processed on Wednesday down from one in five a week ago.
The state’s delayed measure of test-positivity stood at about 23 percent, down slightly from its peak. Minnesota now is reporting about 216 new infections per 100,000 residents per day, also a very small decline from its peak.
Nevertheless, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 15,572 new infections Wednesday brining the state case total to 1,280,500. Another 52 COVID-19 fatalities were also reported, bringing the death toll to 11,282.
The latest deaths reported Wednesday ranged in age from their 20s to their late 90s and includes a Dakota County resident in their late 20s and an Anoka County resident in their late 40s.
Fourteen of those who died in long-term care, 37 resided in private homes and one lived in a behavioral health facility.
Deaths are not reported uniformly because each COVID-19 fatality is investigated. Of the deaths reported Wednesday, 46 occurred this January, three in December and one each in November, September and January of 2021.
Minnesota continues to average more than 30 COVID-19 fatality reports each day.
Hospitalizations also remain high with 1,553 patients currently needing care including 227 in critical condition. Hospital capacity remains very limited across much of the state.
Health officials maintain that vaccines are the best way to avoid a severe infection and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Boosters are recommended for anyone 12 and older.
Minnesota has administered more than 9.1 million doses of vaccine including 2 million boosters.