By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day after Minnesota matched a daily COVID-19 death record of 35 fatalities, another 20 deaths were reported Thursday, as were 1,574 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health show that the state’s death toll is now at 2,301, with the majority of victims being residents in long-term care. Of the most recent deaths, 13 were residents in such facilities.

In the last 24 hours, the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 increased by 79, with 12 patients entering intensive care.

The state’s total tally of COVID-19 cases currently stands at 128,152, with more than 1.7 million people in Minnesota having been tested for the virus, the data show. So far, more than 113,000 who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 no longer need to self-isolate.

On Wednesday, Minnesota health officials warned that the state is seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths as many Minnesotans are experiencing “COVID fatigue,” and growing tired of hearing about the deadly virus.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says Minnesotans need to change their behaviors instead of accepting the current daily case numbers and deaths as a “new normal.” She cited Wisconsin as an example of what the state does not want to become.

One way that the state is fighting the virus is through testing. In recent days, health officials have opened four free saliva testing centers in cities across the state. The fifth saliva testing site will open Friday in Mankato. After four additional free testing sites are opened, the state’s test processing capacity is expected to reach 60,000 tests a day.

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota’s test positivity rate is at 6% as of Oct. 13, showing a 2-percent rise over the same time last month. If the positivity rate continues to climb, health officials may reinstate COVID-19 restrictions.

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