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Minnesota breaks daily record for coronavirus cases and deaths

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The Minnesota Department of Health reported 5,454 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the first time the state has reported more than 5,000 new cases in a day. CBS Minnesota reports that Friday marked the fourth-straight day of state health officials reporting record daily COVID-19 cases.

The state has also breached a grim record for daily COVID-19 deaths, with 36 reported in the last 24 hours.

Over the last few weeks, Minnesota health officials have documented a surge in coronavirus cases. In just the last four days, more than 16,000 new infections were counted in the state. Health officials and Gov. Tim Walz are encouraging Minnesotans to be vigilant, to continue to practice social distancing and to wear masks.

As daily case numbers are at record levels, so are hospitalizations. According to state data, more than 1,000 people were battling the virus in Minnesota hospitals as of Thursday. Thirty percent of those patients are in intensive care beds. On the bright side, hospitals are better able to treat COVID-19 patients now than they were at the start of the pandemic.

In the last 24 hours, health officials say 45,769 tests were processed for Minnesotans, setting yet another daily record. Testing is one way health officials are tracking the spread of the disease. On Thursday, they noted that it's often spreading via young people going out to bars and restaurants, small gatherings and events like weddings.

According to the state's Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota's positivity rate is at 10% as of October 28, doubling what it was at the start of October. If the positivity rate continues to climb, state officials say they might reinstate COVID-19 restrictions but they did not specify what those restrictions would be.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins researchers, the 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Minnesota has risen over the past two weeks from 1,578 on October 22 to 3,222 on November 5.

The updated numbers bring Minnesota's totals to 170,307 cases and 2,591 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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