Covid-19 Is Stagnant in Minnesota

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The Star Tribune‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jeremy Olson writes that Covid-19 cases have been stubbornly stagnant with about 20 to 60 daily hospitalized cases in Minnesota.

Dr. Mark Sannes, an infectious disease specialist for the Bloomington-based health system, reportedly told “COVID-19 as the cause of hospitalizations also appears down. Among five infected patients in intensive care at HealthPartners hospitals, four were primarily there for other medical problems”.

“During pandemic peaks, that would only happen about 2% of the time. Right now, we’re seeing between 50% and 75% of our hospitalized patients with positive COVID tests who are in with something else,” Dr. Sannes added.

Referring to Mayo clinic’s 14-day Covid forecast, Olson writes “the state’s rate of 26 new infections per day per 100,000 people could decline to 23 — but with an error margin suggesting it could actually increase to 34 or drop to 17”.

Likewise, results of University Minnesota’s sewage sampling of above 40 wastewater treatment revealed that “no consistent trend in the amount of viral material” identified”.

Dr Sannes told “the presence of even incidental COVID-19 in hospitalized patients means the virus is still prevalent and could pose a threat in the fall and winter again — especially if it combines with what could be a worse influenza season. What we’re seeing right now doesn’t look too bad but we’ve had to shift fairly quickly in the last couple years.”

Immunity protections from both vaccines and natural infection, as well as “a stable supply of treatments such as Paxlovid has helped reduce severe outcomes, although the latest research about the antiviral drug was mixed”.