Covid Spikes Reported in Minnesota Colleges

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According to Star Tribune, Omicron variants cases among students attending Minnesota colleges including at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

“Nearly 1 in 4 University of Minnesota students who tested for COVID-19 at the Twin Cities campus’ clinic from Jan. 6-13 were positive, according to data published Friday showing 253 positive student and employee cases out of 1,093 tests taken. Most U students are back on campus Tuesday for the start of spring semester classes,” writes the Tribune.

Our goal is to safely maintain continuity and in-person instruction but we recognize that Omicron is surging.

– Joan Gabel, U of M President in a message (source: Star Tribune)

According to Tribune, to contain the spread of the virus U President Gabel announced that “the U will also temporarily require guests attending indoor athletic contests, performances and other events with 200 or more attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior”.

“Students, staff, and faculty are eager to return to campus this spring, but the University must do its part to limit community spread during the coming few weeks,” Gabel reportedly said in the statement.

Only about 65% of the students in Minnesota state’s colleges have received at least one dose of vaccine as of Dec 1, according to state immunization data.

According to US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Omicron has not yet peaked nationwide.

“The challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace. The Omicron wave started later in other parts of the country, so we shouldn’t expect a national peak in the next coming days. The next few weeks will be tough.”

– Dr. Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General (source: CNN Health)

Devinder Malhotra, Minnesota State Chancellor, urged “system college and university presidents to find ways to reduce campus foot traffic early in the semester, such as phasing in on-campus activities to help limit large gatherings”.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Jan 20, 9 a.m.) 655,282,365 doses have been distributed and 531,864,871 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Jan 18) a total of 9,066,009 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Jan 20) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,204,929 (out of 17,400,668 tested) with 11,115 deaths.