(St. Paul, MN)  —  Minnesota health officials say there are indicators that the delta variant wave is hitting harder than expected following a decline after Thanksgiving.  Officials reported 45 additional COVID-19 related deaths yesterday as the state faces the emergence of the omicron variant in the state.  Governor Tim Walz is continuing to urge people to get vaccinated against the virus, especially children ages five to eleven.  Only 25 percent of Minnesotans in the youngest eligible age group have received at least one dose of the vaccine.