By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota are continuing to soar as health officials reported Sunday yet another daily case record with 5,924 new infections. Additionally, 31 more people in Minnesota have died of the virus.

This week has seen upwards of 4,000 people in Minnesota daily testing positive for COVID-19. In just the last three days, more than 16,000 new cases were documented. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have hit record levels and daily deaths are consistently in the double digits, reaching a record-high of 36 fatalities on Friday.

As of late last week, more than 1,000 people were in Minnesota hospitals battling COVID-19, with more than 25% of patients in intensive care. These are the highest hospitalization numbers seen since the start of the pandemic. While hospitals are better able now to help those who are sick, there’s growing concern of facilities being overwhelmed if COVID-19 cases continue to surge at this pace.

Health officials and Gov. Tim Walz are urging Minnesotans to remain vigilant against the virus, to continue to practice social distancing, weark masks, and get tested if either exposed or feeling sick. Testing is one of the state’s keys to understanding the virus’ spread. In the last 24 hours, more than 41,000 tests were processed. Since the start of the outbreak, more than 2 million people in Minnesota have been tested.

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota’s positivity rate is at 10% as of Oct. 28, marking a 5% increase since the start of October. If the positivity rate continues to climb this month, state officials say they could reinstate COVID-19 restrictions. It’s unclear what exactly those would be.

Since the outbreak began in March, Minnesota has recorded 180,862 cases of COVID-19. More than 146,000 of those people have recovered and no longer need to self-isolate. Minnesota’s death toll is currently at 2,656. The vast majority of those felled by the virus have been residents in long-term care. Of the most recent fatalities, 18 were residents in such facilities.

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