ST PAUL, Minn. —
- Hospitalizations remain above 1,500 for fifth straight day
- Omicron variant detected in Minnesota
- Third federal medical support team to arrive Friday
- Biden urging Americans to get vaccines, boosters, calls omicron variant "cause for concern" but not for panic
Thousands of new cases and dozens of new COVID-19 deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Friday.
According to MDH, 5,685 more people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 926,931.
Another 62 deaths were also reported Friday. Of those deaths, one happened back in November 2020, and another happened in October 2021.
Included among the new numbers is a teenager between 15 and 19 years old who died in Beltrami County. Another nine deaths occurred among people in their 50s.
For a fifth straight day, COVID-19 hospitalizations remain above 1,500 in Minnesota. As of Dec. 2, 1,556 people are currently hospitalized, with 353 of those patients requiring ICU care.
ICU bed space is dwindling across all corners of the state. According to MDH, there is only one staffed ICU bed available in each of the following regions: northeast, central, west central and the metro.
There are no pediatric ICU beds available in the central portion of the state, and just three open in the metro.
Minnesota has administered nearly 8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 7,938,605 shots given out so far.
As of Dec. 1, MDH says 3,660,988 Minnesotans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, or 65.8%of that population.
Of those 5 and older, 3,381,610 people have completed their vaccine, or 60.8% of those eligible.
Among children 5-11 years old, the most recent age group to get the green light for COVID vaccines, 121,981 kids have at least one shot and 22,337 have completed their vaccine series.
Thursday, Dec. 2
A third federal medical team is headed for Minnesota to help a Twin Cities hospital deal with the challenge of the ongoing COVID surge.
Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday that a team of 14 doctors, nurses and support staff from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Disaster Medical System will deploy at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina.
The team is set to arrive Friday and is scheduled to stay for two weeks, with the option to extend the deployment.
Federal medical support teams are currently assisting the staffs at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, and St. Cloud Hospital.
On Thursday, health officials confirmed that the omicron variant infection was found in a Minnesotan with COVID-19. The vaccinated man from Hennepin County had recently traveled to New York City to attend the Anime NYC convention. According to MDH, the person's "symptoms have resolved."
The first U.S. omicron infection was announced Wednesday in a California resident. Earlier this week, MDH said during a reporter briefing that new variants of the virus were expected.
Also on Thursday, MDH reported 72 new COVID deaths and 5,313 new cases in the state.
The new fatalities reported include a person between the age of 25 and 29 in Steele County. Minnesota's cumulative death total is at 9,554 since the pandemic began. Health officials say 4,963 of those deaths have taken place in long-term care or assisted living facilities.
The cumulative total COVID cases in the state is now at 921,249 since the start of the pandemic.
According to MDH's latest data available, 1,549 people are being treated for COVID in hospitals around the state, with 1,204 in non-ICU beds and 345 in the ICU.
MDH reported 7,894,561 total doses of vaccine have been administered in the state, with 3,655,679 people age 5 and older having received at least one shot (70.1%). Of that number 3,373,236 people have completed their COVID series and are considered completely vaccinated (64.7%).