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Minnesota virus hospitalizations reach highest mark of 2021



FILE - In this May 8, 2020, file photo registered nurses Beth Andrews, top, and Erin Beauchemin work with a patient in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota reached 757 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Friday — the highest figure of 2021 so far as the more contagious delta variant strains hospital capacity statewide.

The total includes 230 patients in intensive care, which is the most since late December, the Star Tribune reported.

Intensive care capacity has been hovering around 95% statewide in recent weeks, with regular beds nearly 92% full, according to state hospital capacity data. State health and health care officials have said the strain on capacity is due to hospitals experiencing more coronavirus admissions during a time of year when they see high trauma admissions.

Essentia Health reinstated visitor restrictions at all of their facilities on Monday, citing increasing virus transmission. Two adult visitors will be allowed for each patient per day in most cases, but COVID-19 patients will not be allowed visitors unless they are pediatric or in an end-of-life- situation.

More than 3.5 million Minnesotans 12 and older, or just over 74%, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Breakthrough infections make up 0.75% of the state’s vaccinated population, the Star Tribune reported, which continues to increase but remains rare.

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