By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the last 24 hours, Minnesota health officials have counted another 1,715 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 more deaths.

Minnesota Department of Health data released Sunday show that the state’s death toll is now at 2,234, following several days last week with daily fatality counts in the double digits — some with totals not seen since early June.

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Since Saturday, 65 more people with the coronavirus were admitted to Minnesota hospitals, with 12 patients entering intensive care. Since the start of the outbreak, nearly 8,900 people have been hospitalized with the virus.

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The total tally of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota since March has now reached 122,812. This comes after a daily case record was set Friday, when more than 2,000 new cases were recorded. Saturday also added another 1,700 cases.

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This surge in cases coincides with a surge in testing. On Friday, for instance, the massive case number came after more than 44,000 tests were processed in a day. As for the last 24 hours, more than 30,000 tests were processed.

Since March, more than 1.6 million people in Minnesota have been tested for the novel coronavirus. Of those who tested positive, 108,316 no longer need to self-isolate.

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota’s seven-day positivity rate remains around 5% as of Oct. 7, due to data lag. Health officials say there are about 22 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, a number that has increased since late September.

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Health officials and experts say Minnesotans need to remain vigilant and continue to practice social distancing, particularly as cold weather forces people to remain indoors and the holiday season approaches.