MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Health officials on Wednesday reported an additional 2,388 virus cases and 24 more deaths due to COVID-19, as the state’s positivity rate continues to climb toward the high risk category. This follows the processing of nearly 30,000 more tests.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s daily update, the state’s total positive cases have risen to 749,144 since the pandemic began, with 8,354 deaths attributed to the virus.

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Meanwhile, the latest rolling seven-day average positivity rate is rising rapidly, now at 8.4%, as reported Wednesday. The line for high risk is drawn at 10%. The current figure represents the highest mark since vaccines first rolled out late last year.

There are also a reported 52.4 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk, and the highest that figure has been since the middle of December 2020.

Total ICU bed usage among COVID-19 patients is at 260. Additionally, there are currently 730 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in non-ICU beds. Many hospitals in the state are reporting being stretched close to capacity as these figures continue to remain high. The rate of deaths being reported is roughly double what it was a month ago.

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The rate of new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is at 13.6; the last time it sustained figures that high was at the end of April.

As of Wednesday morning, figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 74% of Minnesotans 16 or older had received at least one dose, and 94.3% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 6,644,085 doses of vaccine, with about 3.26 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

There have been 198,348 vaccine booster shots given to eligible Minnesotans.

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