Minnesota reports 7,444 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths Monday

Minnesota health officials reported 7,444 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths from the disease Monday. 

The numbers come after Minnesota saw its highest ever daily case count Saturday with 8,703 new cases reported. Minnesota has reported more than 7,000 cases of COVID-19 per day for four of the last seven days, according to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Minnesota has seen a 162% increase in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks—the third highest in the US, according to NBC News’s COVID-19 tracker. 

The 7,444 newly reported cases were on a volume of 51,207 tests—a positivity rate of 14.5%. 

Minnesota has seen a total of 231,018 COVID-19 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Of those, 51,207—around 22%--are active cases. 

All but two of the 12 deaths reported Monday were in the Twin Cities metro area. The people who died were all 65 or older. 

One-third of the deaths reported Monday were in long-term care or assisted living facilities. There have now been more than 2,000 deaths in those types of facilities in Minnesota. 

A total of 2,917 people in Minnesota have now died from COVID-19. 

Minnesota has reported 46,302 new cases of coronavirus and 242 deaths over the past week, including those reported Monday. 

MDH to send text messages to people exposed to COVID-19

Starting Monday, MDH will text people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has. The text will only inform the recipient that someone from the state health department will be calling them. 

The message from the health department will read: "Answer the Call: State and local public health department staff will be calling you with important information about your health. Please answer the call from xxx-xxx-xxxx. This is an automated text message, please do not reply."

When you get a call, case interviewers will ask you about your symptoms, people you may have been in contact with, and provide information on preventing further spread. They will never ask for a Social Security number or any personal financial information like your bank account or credit card number.

The texting program is part of MDH’s contact tracing efforts. Health officials are hoping the text message will encourage people to pick up the phone when a contact tracer calls.