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COVID-19 VACCINE

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.
The previous record in the Northland — 3,485 new COVID cases — was reported last week. This week's number is 5,689.
While there are encouraging signs that the worst of omicron is over, hospitalizations remain high.
The federal government has mandated 100% staff vaccination in order to receive Medicaid or Medicare funds. That draws closer as 100% of nursing home staff must have their first dose on Thursday, Jan. 27. The state nursing home member association believes 30-35 facilities could face loss of federal funding at the final deadline in March.

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The state health department on Wednesday, Jan. 26, reported 1,553 hospitalizations and 15,572 new cases of COVID-19.
We are writing to express our dismay and disappointment in the News Tribune for publishing the Jan. 15 letter, “Remove masks, let virus die on its own,” which presented false speculation about vaccinations worsening the COVID-19 epidemic.
No vaccine is 100% effective, but hospitalization and testing records show the unvaccinated are many times more likely to get COVID-19 and even more likely to be hospitalized and die.
They are filling our hospitals with COVID-19 cases and putting our overworked health care community in harm's way with every shift.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Jan 20, in Hennepin County District Court, the restaurants and bars asked a judge to nullify the Minneapolis vaccine rule, arguing the policy is an undue burden on businesses that already suffered from restrictions earlier in the pandemic. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include a Minnesota Jimmy John's franchisee and several Minneapolis bars including downtown's Gay 90's.
Nine COVID-related deaths were recorded in the region Jan. 14-20.

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The wait for PCR test results can take a week in some districts.
How is the omicron variant different from others? How should you test for omicron? What mask should you wear? When will the omicron surge end? We provide some answers to these and other questions, with information current as of Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Infectious disease physician Sara Lund was among the first pregnant women in Minnesota to be vaccinated in 2020. Now, she and her family are hoping to increase the vaccination rate in pregnant women.

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