MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota health officials Friday reported 1,877 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths. Meanwhile, nearly 43% of Minnesota’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

In all, the state has administered 4,239,232 vaccine doses. Roughly 57.4% of the eligible population has received at least one dose.

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health shows a cumulative 575,812 COVID-19 cases and 7,144 total deaths since the pandemic began last March. While the majority of deaths have impacted the older population, with the recent spread of variants in the state, younger people are hospitalized at a higher rate than ever before. This week too, a first-grader from Marshall succumbed to the virus.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 619 people in Minnesota hospitals with COVID-19, of which 166 were in the ICU. According to the Public Health Risk Measures dashboard, the hospitalization rate per 100,000 residents sits at 13.7%, which has decreased slightly in the past week. More than 30,000 people have been hospitalized due to the virus since the onset of the pandemic.

Though still in the “caution” status, the state’s seven-day average rolling positivity rate has decreased in the last few days, down from 7.5% on April 5 to 6.3% as of  April 21. However, the rate of community spread remains high, with over 43% of cases not knowing where they contracted the virus.

In the past 24 hours, the state has processed over 40,000 COVID-19 tests. Since the pandemic began, more than 4 million Minnesotans have been tested for the virus.

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Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz hinted that COVID-19 restrictions could be eased yet again in the coming days, possibly early next week. The last rollback was in early March, when restaurants were allowed to open at 75% capacity; limits for religious services and salons were also lifted.