98% of Minnesota adult ICU beds occupied as COVID hospitalizations rise

ST. PAUL — West-central Minnesota and the Twin Cities had no available adult intensive care unit beds available early this week as a long fourth wave of COVID-19 infections continued to send hospitalizations soaring, according to state data released Tuesday, Dec. 7.

After reaching heights not seen in nearly a year this November, the number of ICU and other hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached 1,621 on Monday, the most recent available count.

Statewide, nearly 98% of adult ICU beds and 95% of overflow, observation, and active surge/expansion beds for adults were occupied, according to the state Department of Health. Fifty-six of 68 hospitals in the state, or 82%, reported no adult ICU bed availability.

Along with continued record-setting hospitalizations, the Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday reported 45 deaths and 12,445 new cases of COVID-19, as well as a renewed climb in key measures of community transmission risk.

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As of Nov. 29, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 11.5%, a sharp climb after the rate started to drop the week of

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