MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Workers at some Twin Cities area hospitals say they’re starting to see available ICU beds coming very close to filling completely up as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to surge in the state.
According to the latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health, 97.5% of ICU beds in the metro area are currently in use. The situation is almost as bad in southeastern Minnesota, where only eight beds are still open (or 3.6%).
The Twin Cities metro area shows 17 ICU beds still available, along with 45 non-ICU beds, which accounts for 1.2% of the area’s capacity.
Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz has announced the State Fair edition of the state’s $100 reward program Wednesday. The first 3,600 Minnesotans to get their first dose at the fair can claim their gift cards immediately afterward.
“If you’ve waited to get your shot, there’s never been a better opportunity,” Walz said in a statement.
The State Fair deal follows a just-concluded $100 incentive program that saw nearly 80,000 Minnesotans claim gift cards.
Health officials on Tuesday said they’re nervous about the large crowds expected at fair as the highly contagious delta variant circulates statewide. Minnesota’s is one of several Midwest state fairs that have offered free vaccinations. Minnesota fair officials are strongly encouraging face masks and vaccinations, but have declined to require them.
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