Minnesota reported 7,133 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, its biggest single-day tally of the year, but health officials said it was likely new infections.
New cases were diagnosed over the weekend and not all newly identified infections were reported to the state health department as a result of technical delays. The remaining cases will be included in Wednesday’s data report.
The state now releases new pandemic data on every business day, and the data released on Tuesday is up to 4 a.m. Monday. Tuesday’s total is the biggest of the year, despite health officials using a staggered reporting schedule since the summer.
The latest cases were the result of nearly 105,000 coronavirus tests, which were also the daily high for 2021.
There were also 12 other COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. Their ages ranged from their 50s to their 90s, with nine living in private homes and three in long-term care.
All 12 deaths occurred in September, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 8,203 with 4,648 deaths in long-term care facilities. Another 113 deaths are suspected to be due to COVID-19, but the person never had a positive coronavirus test.
Hospitalizations also jumped over the weekend. 847 patients, including 220 in critical condition, are hospitalized, out of 821 patients requiring care on Friday.
Rates of positive tests, new cases and hospitalizations are all above the precautionary thresholds that health officials use to determine whether the epidemic is under control. Almost all new cases are caused by the more infectious delta type.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid a serious case. Breakthrough infection has become more common, but about 99 percent of the 3.1 million residents who have been fully vaccinated have not reported a breakthrough case.
Minnesota has given 6.5 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine and 3.4 million have received at least one dose. About 72 percent of eligible Minnesotans who are 12 and older have received at least one shot.