MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials reported 2,500 new infections on Thursday as more infectious variants of the coronavirus drive case growth across the state. The new cases mark the highest single-day total since January as the state was coming down from the surge in infection cases late last year.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 14 more people have died due to COVID-19 in addition to the 2,535 new virus cases, bringing the state’s totals to 6,922 deaths and 535,182 since the start of the pandemic last year. Hospitalizations have climbed alongside cases, with 565 patients in Minnesota hospitals due to the coronavirus, including 131 in intensive care.
Health officials have expressed concern regarding the steady rise in cases and hospitalizations, citing a growing seven-day test positivity rate that indicates community transmission of the virus. Officials have described the state’s vaccination progress as a race against the more contagious virus variants, hoping the state’s efforts to vaccinate populations more susceptible to the virus will prevent a significant spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
More than 3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered as of Tuesday, About 1.9 million Minnesotans have received at least one dose, and more than 1.2 million who have been fully vaccinated.