Publish date:

Walz to announce 'new action' on hospital capacity, expanding rapid COVID testing

It comes as Minnesota's health system is facing its biggest COVID challenge yet.
Author:

Gov. Tim Walz will on Friday make an announcement regarding new "action" his administration will take on addressing the current pressure on Minnesota's hospital system as it deals with the surging delta COVID variant.

The governor and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm will join state healthcare leaders to address hospital capacity concerns. He will also announce an expansion of the state's "community rapid testing network."

While hospitalizations for COVID-19 are not currently at the levels seen during the peak last November and December, staffing shortages means there are fewer staffed ICU beds available now than at any point during the pandemic.

On Tuesday there were 990 people being treated in hospital for COVID, of which 260 were in the ICU. While that number has dropped slightly since then, on Wednesday there were just 48 staffed beds available in the state, and only six beds available in the entire Twin Cities metro region.

That means 99.1% of all available ICU beds are filled in the metro. Limited capacity often leads to longer waits for care and patients being diverted to areas of the state where beds and staff are available. But it is clear, healthcare facilities are stressed everywhere in Minnesota. 

Gov. Walz will speak at a 10:15 a.m. press conference. Check back at Bring Me The News for more as it happens.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 26

The latest data for the pandemic in Minnesota.

target

Target touts new app, ordering features ahead of holidays

Here's how the retailer plans on making things "easy" for customers.

shower

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

Anya Magnuson

Woman in critical condition after driver hit her in Minneapolis

She's been unresponsive, but recently gave a thumbs up to her family.

crime scene tape - police tape

Suspect in fatal hit-and-run of Blaine dog walker arrested

The woman was airlifted and died at the hospital.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 11.23.26 AM

Gov. Walz announces plan to create COVID-19 saliva testing lab in MN

It's hoped the lab will double the state's testing capacity, including the potential for home testing.

coronavirus

4 weeks later, Minnesota still short of its 'moonshot' testing target

State health officials want anyone with symptoms to go in for a test.

Walz

Gov. Walz to announce 'biggest' loosening of COVID restrictions Friday

COVID is declining and vaccinations rising in Minnesota.

coronavirus, covid-19

Minnesota braces for new restrictions ahead of Walz announcement

The governor will take further action as the state's COVID crisis worsens.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz to announce loosening of restrictions on indoor dining Wednesday

Indoor dining service has been banned since Nov. 18 amid spiraling COVID-19 cases, which have since declined.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz sounds COVID-19 alarm, launches massive testing initiative

Despite huge increases in testing, Minnesota's percent positive rate keeps rising.