By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State health officials on Friday reported 1,708 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths.

The seven-day average positivity rate has been on the rise lately, reflecting levels of virus spread last seen during the spring wave. As of last week, the positivity rate had reached 5.4%.

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Daily new cases are well into the “high risk” category, with over 20 reported cases per 100,000 residents.

Hospitalizations too are rising; while just weeks ago, the state was seeing less than 100 people in hospitals with the virus, there were over 470 patients receiving care as of Thursday afternoon. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 125 of those cases require intensive care.

Meanwhile, roughly 59% of the state’s total population has received at least one vaccine dose. The rate of first vaccine doses administered has increased over the past month, as students get ready to go back to school and the state started offering a $100 Visa gift card incentive to those who receive their first shot before Aug. 22. Roughly 70% of those 12 and older have received their first dose.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Nearly 3,000 New Cases, 27 Deaths Reported

On Wednesday, federal health officials said Americans will need to get a third vaccine shot eight months after they received their second Pfizer or Moderna dose, to extend protection against the virus and quell the spread of the Delta variant. Officials anticipate those who received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to also need a booster, but more data is expected in the coming weeks.

Next week marks the beginning of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, and fair officials announced Wednesday that there will be no official mandates regarding masks or vaccinations. People are urged to “do the right thing,” and skip weekends.

In all, MDH says there have been 633,556 reported COVID-19 cases since last year and 7,760 deaths.

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