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Coronavirus Watch COVID Vaccines

Hospitalization Surge in MN ‘A Different Ballgame’

After the School season started, Covid cases in Minnesota schools are reportedly growing rapidly and state health officials believe the cases would accelerate in the coming weeks.

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state’s epidemiologist, told reporters that MN had about 150 cases/week before the school season and now — the first week of school for many districts — to more than 600 on Monday and 500 on Tuesday.

This is on the way up. We do expect it’s going to continue to rise over the next few weeks.

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state’s epidemiologist (source: MPR News)

MN Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters “We’ve been a little encouraged that the rate of increase seems to be slowing down, but we’re still seeing increases. Increases in hospitalizations are ‘particularly concerning‘. I don’t think we feel that we are at a plateau at this time. There are a few encouraging signals in the data but way too early to say much about that.”

Outside of the MN Schools, Covid cases are and hospitalization are rising elsewhere too, writes Jeremy Olson of Star Tribune.

“I felt like dying. I am a strong woman. I didn’t think this [would] happen to me. I think I am strong, but …”

Amal Algahtani, 50, of Minneapolis (source: Star Tribune)

Dr. Andrew Olson, director of COVID-19 hospital medicine for M Health Fairview, told the Tribune “The pressures on the system are as bad as they’ve been since the beginning of the pandemic. If we can get rid of as much COVID as possible, it would really help”.

“It’s a very different ballgame than it was before. We’re seeing a lot of younger patients. We’re seeing patients that are not vaccinated and go downhill very quickly, which is why they come into the hospital. We also have breakthrough patients, those that are vaccinated, but usually those that are in the hospital have other underlying conditions that put them at more risk.”

Dr. Amy Williams, executive dean of practice at Rochester-based Mayo Clinic (source: Star Tribune)

According to U respiratory therapist Kayla Rabideaux, some patients try to stay out of the hospital as long as they can, but that backfires. “They come a little too late. It’s hard because they are usually intubated, but I have had some patients who say, ‘I wish I would have taken this seriously. I didn’t think it was a real threat.’ ”

According to Olson, a staffing shortage is part of the problem. “They’re tired. Our nursing staff is picking up extra shifts, longer shifts, and they’re trying to balance their families as well as [their children going] back to school.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of September 17, 9 a.m.) 464,315,725 doses have been distributed and 383,994,877 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of September 15) a total of 6,329,527 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of September 17) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 681,613 (out of 12,005,921 tested) with 7,983 deaths.