COVID continues to surge in Minnesota as Thanksgiving approaches. U-S Senator Tina Smith is encouraging Minnesotans to get vaccinated.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this surge of COVID, because people are getting really sick from COVID, hospitalizations are up, there is a huge strain on our ICU beds for the people who are really, really sick in hospitals.”

Smith says most of the people who are getting the sickest are people who have not been vaccinated. Johns Hopkins University reported over the weekend that there have been more than 770,000 deaths in the U-S over the full course of the pandemic. And the number of 2021 COVID-19-related deaths has officially outpaced 2020’s total.