See more of the story

The number of Minnesotans getting intensive care for severe COVID-19 in the hospital continues to rise, even as vaccinations continue and the overall number of people in the hospital for the coronavirus remains flat.

Data published Tuesday show there were 193 people in Minnesota's hospitals getting intensive care for COVID-19 complications the day before, a rise of 21% from seven days earlier.

Yet the total number of people in any kind of hospital bed getting care for COVID-19 was 686 according to the latest figures, rising 1% in the past week.

Traditionally, between 5% and 8% of people who get COVID-19 end up getting critical care in an ICU bed, according to evidence-based guidelines in the UpToDate medical information service. ICU care for COVID-19 often includes going on a mechanical ventilator for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Overall, 52% of eligible Minnesotans have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 37% have completed their vaccination series, whether it requires one or two doses, as of the latest data on Sunday. At least 2.3 million Minnesotans have gotten at least one shot so far.

More women in the state appear to be getting vaccinated than men. Nearly 1.3 million women and a little more than 1 million men have gotten at least one vaccine shot, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The state has vaccinated 85% of seniors 65 and older. During the pandemic, people in that age group have accounted for 13% of the diagnosed cases of COVID-19, and 89% of the deaths attributed to the viral illness.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced 1,189 newly confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state's tally during the pandemic to 558,850.

Genetic sequencing of test specimens containing viral RNA shows about 70 to 80% of positive COVID-19 tests in Minnesota are coming from variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a Health Department spokeswoman said.

Tuesday saw the announcement of five additional deaths from COVID-19 complications, including one person in their late 40s and four others between the age 60 and 84. Only one lived in a long-term care or assisted-living facility.

The state has recorded 7,031 deaths from COVID-19 since March 2020.

Joe Carlson • 612-673-4779