MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the expectation that Gov. Tim Walz will be announcing another expansion of the COVID vaccination program in the state later this week, the Minnesota Department of Health says that there are 1,323 new cases of the virus and nine more deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 508,541 positive cases and 6,798 deaths.

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While the figures are a far cry from where they were late last year during the most recent spike, a number of factors indicate growing concern.

  • The seven-day positivity rate is now 4.6%, the highest since Jan. 22,
  • There are 18.8 cases per 100,000 residents, the highest since Jan. 25, and
  • There are 93 patients in the ICU, the highest since Jan. 28.

Hospitalization figures continue to also rise slightly, with about 6.3 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, according to the latest rolling average.

According to Minnesota’s health department, Minnesota processed 25,303 COVID tests within the last 24 hours. Since the pandemic began, more than 3.6 million Minnesotans have been tested.

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As of Tuesday, Minnesota has administered about 2.27 million doses of vaccine, with about 863,000 people having completed the entire vaccine series. Roughly 1.45 million Minnesotans, or about 25.7% of the state’s overall population, have received at least one dose.

The current tally also indicates that 79% of seniors (age 65 and older) in Minnesota are now vaccinated.

The next group expected to open up are those 50 and older regardless of their health conditions, and people 16 and older with underlying health conditions. That change will open up vaccines to an extra half-a-million Minnesotans.

After that, essential workers will get their chance, with 350,000 Minnesotans fitting into that category. Then, it will open up to the general public, with 300,000 Minnesotans 16 and older fitting into that category.

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