(FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,877 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 more deaths Friday as the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate continues to drop.
Minnesota has now seen 575,812 COVID-19 cases and 7,144 deaths attributed to the disease since the pandemic began.
The 1,877 newly reported cases were out of 40,988 tests, a 4.6% positivity rate. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 6.3%, down from its spring peak at 7.4% in early April. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high rate of community transmission.
The 16 deaths reported on Friday included one person in their 40s and two in their 50s. Two of the people who died were long-term care residents.
Hospitalizations are decreasing once again. There are currently 619 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Minnesota, down from a high of 699 on April 14. Of those 619 patients, 166 are in the ICU.
Meanwhile, 57.4% of eligible Minnesotans have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 42.9% are fully vaccinated.
Finding a vaccine appointment is no longer as difficult as it once was, according to MDH. There are plenty of available appointments at pharmacies, health systems and county vaccination clinics across the state. As of this week, Minnesotans can now sign up for appointments at one of the state-run community vaccination clinics through the Vaccine Connector website directly—no more waiting to be randomly selected.
GET YOUR SHOT: How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Education says the Mall of American community vaccination clinic is prioritizing 16 and 17 year olds for appointments this week to get the Pfizer vaccine, which is only vaccine currently authorized for use on people under 18. Click here for more information and to schedule an appointment.