By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Health officials in Minnesota announced Tuesday 3,882 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths, as the seven-day average positivity rate continues to climb.

The Minnesota Department of Health says that as of last week, the positivity rate reached 6.6%; it has been steadily rising since early July as the Delta variant continues to spread.

In all, the state has recorded 649,964 COVID-19 cases since March of 2020 and 7,811 deaths. More than 35,121 people have been hospitalized and 7,139 have required intensive care.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 589 patients in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, of which 164 were in the ICU. Hospitalization figures have increased in the past few weeks; the state is now seeing 10.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, compared to early July, when there were 1.9 admissions.

Meanwhile, nearly 60% of Minnesota’s total population has received their first dose of the vaccine, and over 6.1 million doses have been administered since late 2020. Half of children between 12 and 15 have received their first shot.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday that more than 1,000 people have gotten their vaccine at the Minnesota State Fair and walked away with a $100 Visa gift card. The incentive is part of an initiative the state started in July, and more than 80,000 Minnesotans have received their first dose through the program. Health officials are urging everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread and the school year begins.