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COVID In MN: MDH Audit Reveals 138 Unreported Deaths, Death Toll Approaches 6,700

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The COVID-19 death toll in Minnesota is now just shy of 6,700 after state health officials reported Tuesday that an audit revealed 138 previously unreported deaths from last year.

In the Minnesota Department of Health's daily update, health officials also said that they identified 891 virus cases that were previously unreported. The unreported deaths and cases were from private labs in violation of a state rule.

In total, MDH on Tuesday reported 1,641 more cases and 140 deaths. Over 492,000 cases have been discovered so far in the state.

Meanwhile, as of Sunday, more than 1.08 million people in Minnesota have had at least one vaccine dose and over 600,000 have completed the vaccine series.

About 3.5 million people in the state have been tested for the virus since the pandemic began.

The state's positivity rate, a seven-day rolling average, is now at 3.5% as of late February.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday that the state is expanding its vaccine rollout to include more Minnesotans as the goal of vaccinating 70% of seniors was reached weeks ahead of schedule.

Because of an increase in vaccine supply from the federal government, Minnesotans in the next two phases of the rollout — more than 1.8 million people — will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Wednesday. These groups include Minnesotans with underlying health conditions and certain essential workers.

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