August 12, 2022

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Minnesota’s coronavirus circumstances proceed to climb and a brand new omicron subvariant detected within the Twin Cities metro might push the speed of infections even greater.

The omicron subvariant BA.2 is chargeable for nearly all new infections, however one other associated subvariant — BA.2.12.1, which is much more contagious — has been detected within the Twin Cities, in line with wastewater knowledge from the Metropolitan Council.

However, the present weekly common price of recent circumstances, at about 18 per 100,000 residents, is a fraction of the final peak the state skilled in January. That was the state’s worst surge of the greater than two-year-old pandemic when greater than 246 weekly infections per 100,000 folks was recorded.

The 1,979 circumstances reported Friday are about 35 p.c greater than per week in the past. The weekly common price of recent circumstances has greater than doubled since April started.

It’s unclear how huge of an undercount these case numbers are as a result of so many individuals at the moment are testing at house and people outcomes aren’t reported to the state. Well being officers not too long ago stopped reporting test-positivity charges as a result of fewer outcomes are required to be reported.

As a substitute, well being officers say circumstances per capita, hospital admissions and the presence of the coronavirus genetic materials in sewage are extra dependable measures of the state’s outbreak.

The Metropolitan Council reported Friday that omicron BA.2 is chargeable for 97 p.c of coronavirus genetic materials in Twin Cities sewage. However BA.2.12.1, one other omicron subvariant, has additionally been detected and has a “development benefit” that would outpace BA.2.

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Over the previous 12 months, coronavirus variants have tended to develop extra contagious because the virus has advanced. However, up to now, omicron and its subvariants have triggered much less extreme illness and hospitalization and loss of life charges haven’t been as excessive as earlier within the pandemic.

There have been 276 sufferers hospitalized Friday together with 22 in intensive care. That’s a 42 p.c enhance over early April, however the variety of sickest sufferers has remained flat.

Minnesota additionally reported 5 extra COVID-19 deaths Friday pushing the state’s loss of life toll to 12,508 since March 2020. These whose deaths have been reported ranged in age from their late 50s to their early 90s.

All the deaths reported Friday occurred in April. Three resided in personal houses, one in long-term care and one was homeless, however sheltered.

Because the pandemic started, about 46 p.c of Minnesota’s COVID-19 fatalities have been residents of nursing houses and assisted dwelling. Roughly 82 p.c of those that’ve died have been seniors age 65 and older.

Well being officers say vaccines are the first cause that charges of extreme an infection and loss of life stay low. Nevertheless, safety from vaccines wanes over time and everybody 12 and older is urged to get a booster.

Residents who’re 50 and older, in addition to these with underlying well being situations that put them at greater threat of significant sickness are inspired to get a fourth vaccine dose.

Whereas 66 p.c of Minnesota’s 5.7 million residents have accomplished their preliminary sequence of vaccines, solely about 57 p.c of the state’s vaccinated inhabitants has acquired a booster.

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State knowledge exhibits breakthrough circumstances proceed to climb and now characterize the vast majority of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Well being officers say they count on breakthrough infections to climb as the vast majority of the inhabitants is vaccinated.

Minnesota has administered 9.8 million doses of vaccine, together with 2.2 million boosters since vaccination started in December 2020.