COVID cases in intensive care dropped significantly from 374 in mid-December to 255 at the end of last week —  that as omicron cases increase and state health officials warned Friday that Minnesota’s health system is the most hard-pressed since the start of the pandemic, because of high numbers of  *other* illnesses.  State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says given that situation, it’s crucial that Minnesotans be vaccinated, boosted, mask and social-distance:

“We are not sitting here as helpless victims of this omicron tsunami.  We can, and we should, be taking action to do what we can to help reduce the spread of COVID.”

Health officials says even though omicron appears to produce less serious symptoms in many people, it could actually result in *more* hospital cases than other variants because it spreads so easily.