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Star Tribune sees 40 percent increase in pages dedicated to obituaries in November

The Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis saw a 40 percent increase in pages dedicated to obituaries in November, mostly due to coronavirus-related deaths in the area.

A newspaper spokesperson told The Associated Press that by the final Sunday in November, the Star Tribune had 11 pages of obituaries, which is about double the usual number of pages in a Sunday paper.

Hennepin County, where the city is located, has documented 1,130 COVID-19-related fatalities and 68,898 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

November saw almost 37,000 COVID-19-related deaths across the U.S., nearly half of the 60,699 documented in April but close to the almost 42,000 deaths in May, according to the AP. 

The rise in obituaries comes as the U.S. is dealing with an increase in hospitalizations, with 98,691 people currently hospitalized for the coronavirus, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Of those, 19,035 are in the intensive care unit and 6,649 are on ventilators. 

Other areas of the country are struggling to keep up with COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis has seen burials increase by about one-third this year, according to the AP.

Field hospitals and makeshift hospitals are being used across the country, including in Rhode Island, which reached its capacity on Monday.

The surges are coming as health officials warn that Thanksgiving gatherings will likely contribute to a greater rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

"Hospitals all around the country are worried on a day-to-day basis about their capacity ... and we're not really even into winter season and we haven't seen the impact of Thanksgiving travel and Thanksgiving gatherings," Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the AP. 

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