By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With newly relaxed restrictions now in effect, the Minnesota Department of Health says that we’re just shy of 500,000 total confirmed cases Tuesday. With 716 newly-reported cases, the current total of positive cases stands at 498,926. There have also been two more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 6,749.

According to Minnesota’s health department, Minnesota processed 11,126 COVID tests within the last 24 hours. Since the pandemic began, more than 3.5 million Minnesotans have been tested.

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Hospitalization figures continue to hold steady with only about 4.5 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, according to the latest rolling average. The positivity rate has seen a small uptick to about 3.9%, however it’s remained under the 5% threshold for the last month. Anything above 5% would be considered cause for caution.

As of Tuesday, Minnesota has administered roughly 2 million doses of vaccine, with about 730,000 people having completed the entire vaccine series. More than 1.2 million Minnesotans, or about 22% of the state’s overall population, have received at least one dose.

Last week, vaccine eligibility expanded weeks ahead of schedule after reaching the goal of vaccinating 70% of seniors. The current tally indicates that 76% of seniors in Minnesota are now vaccinated.

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The $1.9 trillion federal pandemic relief package will send $7.5 billion to Minnesota to help with testing and vaccine rollout.

The money is part of an effort to ensure everyone who wants a vaccine, regardless of insurance, can get one. Walz, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and others in the Minnesota Congressional delegation at a news conference at a mass vaccination site at Mall of America on Monday praised the bill as much-needed relief for America families and businesses.

On Monday, the latest “dial turn” on COVID-19 restrictions went into effect, including allowing thousands of fans in stadiums — a move Gov. Tim Walz said represents Minnesota’s progress towards normalcy after the pandemic has upended daily life for a year.

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As of now, bars and restaurants are 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.