MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  As the state health department says there’s a “truly alarming spike in cases” in recent days, the agency reports that there have been 4,849 newly reported positive cases, and 28 more deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours. Of those deaths, one was a Hennepin County resident in their late 20s.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s daily update, the state’s total number of people who have been infected by COVID has risen to 832,610 since the pandemic began, with 8,996 deaths attributed to the virus. Health officials say 9,015 have been reinfected since the start of the pandemic.

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The health department said earlier this week that the system was overwhelmed by the case load, and that high counts were likely to contain spillover figures from the weekend.

Minnesota’s latest rolling seven-day average positivity rate is reaching levels not yet seen in 2021, now at 9.5%. There are also a reported 57.9 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk (which is all the way down at 10 per 100,000).

As of Thursday morning, figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 67.4% of Minnesotans 5 and older had received at least one vaccine dose, and 95.7% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 7,232,883 doses of vaccine, with about 3.3 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

There have been more than 616,000 vaccine booster shots given to eligible Minnesotans.

Hospitalizations are also rising sharply over the last few days. Total ICU bed usage among COVID-19 patients is at 296. Additionally, there are currently 949 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in non-ICU beds. The rate of new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is at 14.8.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Positivity Rate On A Downward Trend, But Still Above 10%

Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz announced three more rapid testing sites in Minnesota — in Minneapolis, Albert Lea and Lino Lakes.

“An expansive, accessible, and free community testing network is critical to making sure Minnesota families can get tested for COVID-19,” Walz said. “Testing provides clarity and peace of mind for parents, workers, and anybody heading out their front door. By expanding our community testing network, we’re making it easier for more Minnesotans to get the COVID-19 tests they need.”

Those seeking a test can schedule an appointment here. Here’s more info on the rapid testing sites:

Lino Lakes – Saliva and Rapid Testing
Former YMCA
7690 Village Drive
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Minneapolis – Saliva and Rapid Testing
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Albert Lea – Rapid Testing
Former ShopKo at Northbridge Mall
2610 Bridge Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007
Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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