Minnesota tops 10,000 COVID-19 deaths

With 54 new deaths reported on Wednesday, Minnesota has now passed 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The grim milestone comes as Minnesota hospitals are stretched to the limit of their capacity. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported state intensive care capacity was at 84%, with 17 staffed beds available in the entire state and just one in the Twin Cities metro.

Minnesota also marked one year of COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday.

"Minnesota hit two significant milestones this week: one that shows how far we’ve come; and one that underscores how the pandemic continues to rage on," MDH spokesman Doug Schultz said in a statement.

MDH data shows more than 3 million Minnesotans have gotten fully vaccinated.

"But we are troubled to continue to see so many preventable illnesses and deaths among those who are not vaccinated," Schultz said. "The recent milestone of 10,000 deaths in Minnesota is a reminder that COVID-19 is still a threat. We stand with Minnesota’s health care providers in urging Minnesotans to get the vaccine and the booster when due."

Health officials also urged Minnesotans to wear masks, maintain social distancing and get tested when feeling ill to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The MDH also reported 2,231 new positive tests on Wednesday. To date, there have been 971,667 positive cases, including reinfections.