By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day before Minnesota’s most expansive rollback of COVID-19 restrictions since the start of the pandemic, health officials reported 997 new cases of the virus and five additional deaths.

The latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health bring the total case count to 497,392. Since last March, 6,746 Minnesotans have died from the virus.

As the state’s vaccination rollout continues, more than 1.9 million total doses have been administered. More than 1.2 million Minnesotans have received the first dose, while 707,776 have gotten the full sequence.

In the last 24 hours, Minnesota processed 27,414 COVID tests. Since the pandemic began, more than 3.5 million Minnesotans have been tested.

The total of hospitalized cases now stands at 26,279; 5,428 of those cases involved intensive care.

More than 482,000 COVID patients no longer need isolation.

RELATED: Walz To Allow Restaurants To Operate At 75% Capacity, Seated Outdoor Venues Capped At 10,000

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced his latest “dial turn” on COVID-19 restrictions, including allowing thousands of fans in stadiums — a move he says represents Minnesota’s progress towards normalcy after the pandemic has upended daily life for a year.

Starting Monday, bars and restaurants will be able to increase operations to 75% capacity; gyms will be able to operate at 50% capacity; and there will no longer be any limits for salons and religious services. Social distancing is still required and the 11 p.m. curfew at restaurants remains in place.

On April 1, outdoor venues like Target Field can operate at 25% capacity up to 10,000 people. Indoor venues can hold up to 3,000 people at 15% capacity if people are sitting and 10% with a limit of 1,500 if people are standing.

Other changes taking effect on Monday:

  • Social gatherings: allowed with up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people indoors.
  • Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.
  • Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.
  • Seating at the bar increases to parties of four.