By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials reported Sunday more than 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 more deaths.

Minnesota Department of Health data show the new 7,219 infections boost the state’s case total to over 270,000. Meanwhile, the added deaths bring the state’s death toll to 3,241. Of the newly reported fatalities, 22 were residents in long-term care facilities, the demographic hardest hit by the pandemic. Even so, one of the recent victims was relatively young: a Wright County resident in their mid-to-late 30s.

As of Thursday, nearly 1,800 people were being treated for COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals. Of those, a record 369 patients were in intensive care beds. According to state data, of the 1,440 ICU beds available in Minnesota, more than 1,100 are currently in use.

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Speaking on WCCO Sunday Morning, Gov. Tim Walz told Esme Murphy that based on the number of cases and hospitalizations this past week, next week’s numbers will likely be grim.

“It’s the math, and it’s the momentum,” the governor said. “Case positives are followed seven to 10 days later by hospitalizations, which are followed by ICU and deaths, and we are in that spiral right now.”

According to Minnesota’s Dial Back Dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate is 15.4% as of Nov. 11. A rate above 10% puts Minnesota in the “high risk” status.

To combat the virus’ spread, Walz ordered bars and restaurants to cease in-person dining, put youth sports on pause, closed gyms, and limited social gatherings to people in one’s own household. The restrictions went into effect Friday and will last four weeks. On Saturday, protesters upset with the new rules demonstrated outside the governor’s residence in St. Paul, specifically calling for students to be able to play sports.

The state is tracking the virus via testing. Over the last several weeks, several free “no barrier” testing sites have opened across the state. In the last 24 hours, more than 56,000 tests were processed for Minnesotans. Overall, 2.31 million people in the state have been tested for the virus. (To learn more about testing, click here.)

Since the outbreak began in March, 270,157 people in Minnesota have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 219,720 have recovered and no longer need to self-isolate.

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