Last Monday I wrote, “Because the Omicron variant appears more contagious than its predecessors, we may well see a case rise for a while.”  We saw a marked case rise this past week (with several contracted before school was back in session).  This is consistent with what is happening everywhere outside these Yellow Walls.  A few observations:

  • A number of cases in recent weeks are “breakthrough,” meaning among fully vaccinated people (who self-report to us).  While we have known of such cases here for several months, the proportion seems to have been increasing.  This would accord with a recent analysis of MDH data through the end of November.  The data suggest the proportion of breakthrough cases among secondary-school-age children in Minnesota had by then risen to around 25 percent, and higher among older groups.
  • PA’s children and youth with COVID continue to report symptoms ranging from very mild to moderate, comparable with other seasonal illnesses. We are hearing about still milder symptoms on average than in past months, consonant with what we’re learning about the lesser severity of the Omicron variant.
  • Adults with COVID continue to report a wider range of symptoms and severity.
  • All community members who have had COVID at any point during the pandemic have recovered and returned to school, upon completing quarantines.

Below are updated longitudinal graphs of MDH data by age groups on testing, cases, and hospitalizations.  Takeaways: testing and case numbers rose sharply among all age groups in the state; hospitalizations were down among all age groups; school-age hospitalizations remain very low with weekly fluctuations.

Please click a chart below to enlarge