Minnesota health officials reported 44 deaths and 4,511 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, as hospitalizations for the virus were not seen at a high level since late 2020.
State officials said on Monday they were closely monitoring the Omicron version. No cases have been found in the United States or Minnesota.
“Fortunately, Minnesota has built one of the nation’s most robust genomic sequencing and variant surveillance systems,” Minnesota Health Commissioner John Malcolm said in a statement Monday. “If an Omicron type infection is found in Minnesota, we will share that information as soon as possible.”
The daily average number of community spread and test positivity rates as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remain in the high-risk category. The seven-day rolling average case rate per 100,000 people as of November 19, the most recent data available from the Minnesota Department of Health, was 76, more than seven times the lower limit of high risk of 10 per 100,000 people. The rolling average test positivity rate as of 19 November stood at 10.9%, slightly lower than the 11% reported a few days ago.
The most recent number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state stood at 1,467. The continuing surge in cases has strained state hospitals, leaving 72% of adults without intensive care unit beds.
The Monday case number update includes data from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Friday. Officials plan to release weekend case figures on Tuesday. The state did not update vaccination numbers on Monday.
Health officials expected to see variants of the coronavirus, and Malcolm said, “The most important thing we can do to prepare is to make sure that everyone 5 years of age and older is vaccinated, and Those who are eligible for a booster get a booster dose.”