By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New COVID-19 cases in Minnesota have nearly tripled in the last month, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health. The average number of cases has gone up steadily through the month of April.

WCCO talked with health experts about how to navigate the ups and downs of COVID-19, as we try to live more normal lives.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Total Positive Case Count Surpasses 1.5 Million

The Minnesota Department of Health says new cases in Minnesota are now considered to be in the “high risk” range.

“We’re probably at a point now that we were last summer, late last summer. July, August is when we saw this increase, the increase at that point went up with our behaviors,” CentraCare’s lead COVID-19 physician Dr. George Morris said.

In the bigger picture, cases are still low overall compared to the rest of the pandemic, but are trending upward. Hospitalizations are now in a “caution” zone, according to state data

But what does that mean for you?

“It is kind of hard to go to one central place and say, ‘Well what should I do?'” Morris said.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Rolling Average Case Rate Finally Appears To Be Trending Down Again

In New York City, there’s a new COVID-19 Alert Scale that recommends mitigation measures based on the level of transmission in the community.

In Minnesota, there is state guidance that breaks down testing protocol based on things like your vaccination status, overall health, and what activities you may be doing.

The CDC also has a more detailed color-coded chart that explains recommended mitigation measures based on the transmission in your community.

“If I think of it as endemic, that doesn’t mean we won’t have waves. And that’s probably where we’re at to a point,” Morris said.

Morris says testing is still very important. A COVID-19 diagnosis may lead to treatment options that weren’t available even last summer.

“There are pills to take if you’re COVID positive, infusions, IVs, injections — they will decrease the risk of you getting seriously ill,” Morris said.

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Morris said he thinks rapid tests are fine to use unless you’re having COVID symptoms and get a negative result. He then recommends getting a PCR test.

Kate Raddatz