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A sudden spike in influenza and RSV patients in Minnesota hospitals is continuing to strain pediatric care capacity in the Twin Cities and statewide. 

Minnesota Department of Health data on Tuesday showed only three pediatric intensive care unit beds have been available in the metro area, on average, in the last seven days. 

There's been an average of just two pediatric ICU beds available across the rest of the state, the data shows. For non-ICU hospital beds, only six pediatric beds have been available in the Twin Cities metro on average in the last seven days. 

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit beds available in Minnesota, 7-day average as of Tuesday, Nov. 15. Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit beds available in Minnesota, 7-day average as of Tuesday, Nov. 15. Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Pediatric hospital beds available in Minnesota, 7-day average as of Tuesday, Nov. 15. Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Pediatric hospital beds available in Minnesota, 7-day average as of Tuesday, Nov. 15. Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Minnesota's flu season is surging much earlier than what's seen in a typical year, according to state data. 

The last weekly report ending Nov. 5 showed 97 schools in Minnesota with new flu outbreaks, compared to 15 outbreaks reported the prior week. 

Additionally, COVID-19 continues to circulate and another surge in cases has been projected for the winter months, with repeat infections becoming increasingly common as the virus evolves. 

Rochester Public Schools, for example, has recorded 704 COVID-19 infections among students and staff so far this year, with 66 new cases in just the first week of November. 

The St. Paul Public Schools district has reported nearly 300 COVID-19 infections in October and 50 cases so far this month. 

SPPS will be offering the bivalent COVID-19 booster and flu vaccines at weekly clinics starting this week. More information is available on the district's website here

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