By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As the Labor Day weekend is upon us, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 2,138 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.

The state has seen 655,418 COVID-19 cases total since March of 2020, and 7,844 deaths.

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The seven-day average positivity rate has been rising since late June, and as of last week, dipped slightly to 6.6%.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 626 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, with 163 in the ICU. The hospitalization rate has also increased in the last few months, with 10.4 admissions per 100,000 residents, which is in the “high risk” category. MDH says that 2.9% of staffed ICU beds are available for use in the metro area.

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Meanwhile, 70.8% of those 12 and older have been vaccinated in the state, and over 6.2 million doses have been administered. The state says 92.9% of those 65 and older have received at least one dose, and more than 3.1 million residents are fully inoculated.

On Friday, the St. Paul School Board unanimously approved a mandate which would require all staff to be vaccinated against the virus or submit to regular testing. The policy goes into effect on Oct. 15.

In recent days, testing sites have reopened in the metro area in an effort to combat the spread of the Delta variant. In the last day, more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests were processed.

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