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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday announced 650 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, and two more deaths.

The additional cases bring the state’s total positive cases to 51,803. There have been 1,576 deaths since the start of the pandemic. However, 45,198 people who have tested positive no longer need to be isolated.

The majority of the deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities.

MOREMDH’s Situation Update For COVID-19

As of Monday, 256 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, and 126 people are intensive care. In the last month, hospitalizations have gradually been trending downward.

Meanwhile, there have been significant increases in cases in a number of states across the country, with large numbers of new cases reported in California, Florida and Texas.

Health officials are keeping track of the case positivity rate. This metric should drop with increased testing, however, spikes in the rate could detect localized outbreaks. If the positivity rate climbs to 15% or more than 5% over a two-week period, health officials will consider rolling back Minnesota’s reopening. According to MDH, the rolling positivity rate average as of July 16 was 5%.

Other benchmarks being measured by the MDH include case growth, testing rates, hospitalization rates and community spread. Currently, Minnesota is considered in the “caution” zone in terms of the number of new cases per 100,000 residents, the number of hospitalizations per 100,000 people, and the percentage of cases connected to someone who had no known exposure to someone else with COVID-19.

RELATED: What Does The Positivity Rate Tell Us?

Minnesota’s mask mandate has gone into effect. Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order requires all Minnesotans to wear masks while in public indoor places. Scientific research shows face coverings reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

This week, the governor is slated to announce the state’s strategy for the up-coming school year. Schools have been preparing for three possible scenarios: in-person classes, continued distance learning, or a hybrid combination of the two.

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