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CORONAVIRUS

Minnesota recorded nearly 93,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week and 250 deaths due to COVID-19. The number of people in the state's ICUs with COVID-19 has decreased in the past week, but the number of people in hospitals has fluctuated without a definitive trend during the week.
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.
State lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 31, and will face a variety of issues. Here's what you need to know.
Schools and local health agencies will also get masks as the federal government begins its own distribution at pharmacies across the U.S.

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While there are encouraging signs that the worst of omicron is over, hospitalizations remain high.
The state health department on Wednesday, Jan. 26, reported 1,553 hospitalizations and 15,572 new cases of COVID-19.
Modeling scientists say cases and hospitalizations now in decline, but have a long way to go. With 1 in 4 residents already infected, the state could see up to 1 in every 2 Minnesotans having been infected by mid-March.
A recent surge in cases may have reached its peak statewide, though hospitalizations and new cases remain high.
The seven-day rolling average test positivity rate as of Jan. 11, the most recently available date for that figure, was 23.7%, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. It's been at that level for three reports in a row.
Scott Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, died Saturday morning in an unnamed hospital in Houston, Texas, according to media reports.

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The proposal, made by the WHO's working group on sustainable financing, would increase each member state's standing annual contribution, according to a WHO document published online and dated Jan. 4.
Throughout the pandemic, rural health care facilities have been overwhelmed, and an already strained workforce is partly to blame. According to Brad Gibbens, acting director of the Center for Rural Health at UND, workforce is the most important policy issue in rural health, especially nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two health care workers, a registered nurse and a respiratory therapist, have been assigned to Carris Health-Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. The state is using pandemic relief aid to provide about 200 workers to help the state's hospitals through the current surge of COVID-19 cases.

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