MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Data released from the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday shows that the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dipped to the lowest it has been in two months, dropping to 4.8%, even as community spread reached the highest point it has been since the pandemic began.

MDH says the percentage of people who do not know where they contracted the virus reached 45.1% on May 12. Any number over 30% is considered “high risk,” and Minnesota’s rate of community spread has been steadily climbing above that threshold since July of 2020.

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On Thursday, Minnesota health officials reported 874 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths due to the virus, out of roughly 31,000 tests. Since the pandemic began last year, 597,052 cases have been reported total, with 7,333 cumulative fatalities. Nearly 60% of the deaths took place in long-term care facilities.

At the same time, now more than 4.98 million vaccines have been administered in the state; 54.7% of Minnesotans 16 and older have been completely inoculated, while 62.4% have received at least one shot. Roughly 88.7% of those 65 and older have received at least their first dose.

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Health officials are also encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated after last week’s announcement that children between 12 and 15 are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Through Saturday, Minnesotans between 12 and 15 will be prioritized for shots at the Mall of America community vaccination site, and pop-up clinics are planned for schools around the Minnesota State Fair vaccination location. Teenagers outside the metro area are encouraged to connect with their health care provider or search for sites offering the Pfizer vaccine.

The state’s hospitalization rate has also been declining in the past few weeks, dipping to 8.6 admissions per 100,000 residents as of May 12. The latest data shows 412 Minnesotans in the hospital with the virus, with 109 in intensive care. Roughly 31,600 Minnesotans have been hospitalized since last March.

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Of those who have contracted COVID-19, 582,480 no longer need to self-isolate.