By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s average COVID-19 positivity rate continues to fall, as it reached 2.1% in Friday’s update from health officials.

The positivity rate has been below the threshold for caution for nearly a month. Daily new cases and hospitalizations are also plummeting to levels not seen since the early days of the pandemic.

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Health officials on Friday reported 177 new cases out of roughly 17,500 completed tests, bringing the cumulative case count to 603,466 since March of 2020. Data shows 3.9 new cases per 100,000 residents, which is below the line of caution.

Twelve deaths were also reported on Friday. In all, 7,496 Minnesotans have died due to the virus.

Minnesota Department of Health says that since the onset of the pandemic, 32,361 Minnesotans have required hospitalization due to the virus, and 6,568 of those cases required intensive care. Hospital admissions dropped to 3.5 per 100,000 residents, the lowest it has been since April of 2020.

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State health officials continue to encourage Minnesotans to get vaccinated against the virus and has set the goal of reaching a 70% vaccination rate for residents 16 and older by July 1.

Friday’s update shows that 65.6% of Minnesotans 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 60.8% have completed the series.

Ninety percent of those 65 and older have received at least one dose, while 32% of Minnesotans between the ages of 12 and 15 have received their first shot. More than 5.4 million vaccines have been administered since December.

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