Minnesota recorded 20 more COVID-19 fatalities and 3,611 new coronavirus infections on Friday, according to the state health department.
The deaths reported Friday were for Minnesotans ranging in age from their 50s to their late 90s, with three in long-term care and 17 living in private homes. Four of these deaths occurred in September and 16 in October.
The death toll from the virus in the state now stands at 8,295, with 4,671 deaths in long-term care. Another 113 people are suspected to have died due to COVID-19, but that person never had a positive coronavirus test.
The 3,611 new cases reported on Friday were the result of around 54,650 tests, pushing the state’s case total to 735,646 since the pandemic began.
Nearly all of Minnesota’s 5.8 million residents have been screened for COVID-19 at least once, and the state has conducted more than 12.8 million coronavirus tests overall.
The state’s cumulative test-positivity rate is around 5.7 per cent and above the current seven-day rolling average of 7 per cent. Health officials say anything over 5 percent is a sign that the epidemic is not under control.
871 patients, including 236 in critical condition, are hospitalized. Hospital leaders say staff shortages have tightened the hospital’s capacity.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid serious illness and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Breakthrough cases are becoming more common, but of the 3.1 million Minnesotans who have been fully vaccinated, about 99 percent have not reported a successful infection.
Minnesota has given 6.5 million doses of the vaccine and 3.4 million residents have received at least one dose. In the vaccable population, ages 12 and older, about 73 percent have received at least one shot.