MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Top Minnesota officials are touting the state’s vaccination efforts as more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. It comes on the same day as the state officially breached 500,000 virus cases.

Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement Thursday morning, saying that it took more than two months to administer the first million doses, but less than a month to deliver another million doses.

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“Hope is on the horizon as more than two million doses of life-saving vaccines have gone into the arms of our loved ones in Minnesota,” Walz said. “With our strong network of hard-working providers and Minnesotans doing their part to end this pandemic by rolling up their sleeves when it’s their turn, we are proud of our state for working together and leading the nation in vaccine administration. We look forward to celebrating these remarkable milestones at an increasing pace this spring as vaccine supply continues to grow.”

Walz says the state is a national leader in getting its vaccine supply into people’s arms.

According to the state’s latest vaccine data from Tuesday, more than 1.3 million people have had at least one vaccine dose and more than 764,000 people have completed their vaccine series.

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“Every vaccine administered is a shot of hope, and we have two million shots of hope to celebrate today,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. “We will continue working around the clock to provide that hope to each and every Minnesotan — safely, fairly, and equitably — as we receive more vaccine in state in the coming weeks. Minnesotans are answering the call to roll up their sleeves when it’s their turn, and brighter days are on the horizon.”

Minnesota has already surpassed its goal of vaccinating more than 70% of seniors weeks ahead of schedule. More than 77% of seniors now have had at least one vaccine dose.

The state has since expanded eligibility to about 1.8 million more Minnesotans with certain medical conditions and essential workers.

Meanwhile, Walz, Flanagan and Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm are in quarantine as a precaution after a staff member of the governor’s office tested positive for COVID-19. They say it’s a good reminder that the virus is still spreading and that testing is important.

Landmark Reached In COVID Cases, Latest Positivity Rate Slowly Climbing

Minnesota has officially breached 500,000 positive cases of COVID-19 (501,458) since the pandemic began.

On Thursday, the state’s health department reported an additional 1,505 virus cases and six more deaths. The death toll now sits at 6,762, with about 63% of the deaths occurring in long-term care facilities.

About 38,600 of the positive cases have been discovered among those who work in health care. Over 485,000 people who contracted the virus no longer need to isolate themselves.

Over 26,520 patients with COVID-19 have needed hospitalization since the pandemic began. Over 20% of those patients needed intensive care unit treatment (5,463).

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The state’s positivity rate, a seven-day rolling average, is at 4.1% as of March 9 due to data lag. That’s up from 3.5% recorded on March 5, but still below the “caution” status.