MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota’s COVID-19 roller coaster ride continues. The latest available data shows active cases rising again following a three-week December dip. The Twin Cities metro area is seeing the bulk of new case growth.
The percentage of COVID tests coming back positive is trending at nearly 10% again — about twice the 5% rate officials find concerning — after slipping to around 7% in late December.
Given that the year-end holidays are still affecting data reporting, the state’s current COVID path remains unclear. Numbers reported on Monday, Jan. 3, were for data as of 4 a.m. Thursday. Most of the newly reported cases were from last Monday and Tuesday.
State Health Department figures showed seven-day new cases averaging 4,093 a day; known, active cases rose to 33,147. The numbers signal the growing presence of COVID’s omicron variant in Minnesota following Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings.
While hospitalizations have ebbed, counts remain relatively high — 1,313 people were hospitalized as of Thursday with COVID, 283 needed intensive care. New hospital admissions are coming down.
Hospital executives across the state have warned since late fall that COVID-19 patients combined with other care needs were overwhelming short-staffed care centers. In mid-December, leaders of nine Minnesota health care systems called the situation heartbreaking and critical.
Data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show all Minnesota counties except for Norman and Traverse currently with a high level of virus transmission.
The state's death toll stands at 10,564 including 48 deaths newly reported on Monday. Deaths typically follow a surge in cases and hospitalizations. In past COVID-19 waves, it’s been the last of the key metrics to improve.