(FOX 9) - Minnesota health officials reported 1,237 new cases of COVID-19 and 34 additional deaths attributed to the disease Wednesday.
Minnesota has recorded 5,979 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with over two-thirds of them in long-term care facilities, according to the latest state Department of Health data. The total number of coronavirus cases the state has seen to date has reached 449,492.
The 1,237 cases reported were out of 18,393 completed tests—a positivity rate of 6.7%. Health officials consider anything over 5% a concern.
Twenty of the people who died were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.
More than 200,000 Minnesotans have now received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 38,000 of those people have received both doses and are now fully vaccinated.
MINNESOTA EXPANDS COVID-19 VACCINATIONS
On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz announced the launch of a pilot program this week for people 65 years and older, teachers and child care workers to get the COVID-19, but initial doses will be very limited. Nine appointment-only sites across the state will begin administering shots on Thursday.
The online portal for scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is now open. Minnesotans ages 65 and older can sign up for an appointment using the online portal, but health officials say educators and child care workers will be notified by their employer if they receive an appointment.
Health officials say vaccine demand will likely outpace available doses at this time as the state is currently only receiving about 60,000 doses a week from the federal government.