Minnesota has topped 700,000 test-confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began 18 months ago.
The 6,203 new infections reported by state health officials on Tuesday have taken the state’s tally of cases to 706,158 since March 2020. The total number of infections is certainly higher because not everyone who becomes ill is tested and screening was limited in the outbreak.
Another 11 deaths were reported by the state health department on Tuesday. Their ages ranged from their 50s to their 90s, with seven living in private homes and four in long-term care.
Minnesota’s death toll stands at 8,109, with 4,628 deaths in long-term care facilities. About 87 per cent of those who died of COVID were seniors.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care fell below 200 for the first time in two weeks. 767 people are hospitalized, including 196 in critical condition.
An estimated 17,000 residents with active infections are recovering at home.
Health officials say almost all new cases are caused by the more contagious delta type. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 are currently the group with the most new infections.
Health officials say vaccination for people 12 and older is the best way to avoid serious illness. Breakthrough infections are on the rise, but 99 percent of the 3.1 million Minnesotans who have been fully vaccinated have not reported success cases.
The state has given 6.3 million doses of the vaccine and 3.3 million people have received at least one dose. About 72 percent of the vaccine-eligible population has received at least one shot.