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COVID In Minnesota: MDH Reports 2,167 Cases, 10 New Deaths; ICU Numbers Climb

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The state reported an additional 2,167 cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths on Friday, as the total number of Minnesotans who have received at least one vaccine dose surpassed 2.37 million.

Now 53.9% of the state's eligible population has received their first dose, while 38.8% have completed the series. Over 3.9 million vaccines have been administered state-wide.

Meanwhile, the cumulative COVID-19 case count reached 564,584 on Friday, with 7,064 total deaths due to the virus since March.

The state's seven-day average positivity rate, which had spiked to 7.4% in recent weeks, has dipped in the past few days down to 7.1%. However any number above 5% is considered to be in the "caution" category.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 14.4 admissions per 100,000 residents. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 689 Minnesotans in hospitals with the virus, of which 202 were in the ICU. The last time over 200 people were in intensive care due to the virus was in December of 2020.

Recently, the virus has been impacting a younger population - schoolchildren and younger adults - due to the spread of the B.1.1.7 virus variant, which originated in the U.K.

Health officials are encouraging regular testing in response to the spread in schools; weekly for student-athletes, and bi-weekly for those in school but not in sports.

The Minnesota State High School League announced Thursday that masks are no longer required for student-athletes competing in outdoor sports, though they must still be worn on the sidelines.

A decision is expected Friday about resuming administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Last week, distribution was paused due to reports of an extremely rare blood clotting side effect in eight people nation-wide. None of the cases involved Minnesotans. A source tells CBS News that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are leaning towards resuming the use of the single-dose vaccine.

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