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MINNESOTA

The state has passed a peak of new infections driven by the omicron variant, but a backlog of positive tests is keeping daily numbers high.
Schools and local health agencies will also get masks as the federal government begins its own distribution at pharmacies across the U.S.
While there are encouraging signs that the worst of omicron is over, hospitalizations remain high.
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The state health department on Wednesday, Jan. 26, reported 1,553 hospitalizations and 15,572 new cases of COVID-19.
A recent surge in cases may have reached its peak statewide, though hospitalizations and new cases remain high.
The DFL proposal’s emphasis on a “community-centered” response to violence that includes proposed funding for restorative justice and social service centers stands in contrast to Republican public safety proposals for this session, which include harsher sentences for certain offenses.
The seven-day rolling average test positivity rate as of Jan. 11, the most recently available date for that figure, was 23.7%, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. It's been at that level for three reports in a row.
Throughout the pandemic, rural health care facilities have been overwhelmed, and an already strained workforce is partly to blame. According to Brad Gibbens, acting director of the Center for Rural Health at UND, workforce is the most important policy issue in rural health, especially nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seven-day rolling average positive test rate remained at 23.7% on Friday.

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The 2022 population goal setting includes the Arrowhead and north-central regions.
The pandemic and recovery are part of the issue, but the conditions generating the lack of workers existed long before the first COVID-19 infections in the U.S., said Joe Hobot, president and CEO of the American Indian OIC.
The seven-day rolling average positive test rate reached 23.7%.

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