ROCHESTER, Minn. — While the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise slightly, hospitalizations and deaths from the illness remain low.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported eight deaths and 769 newly confirmed new cases of the coronavirus statewide Sunday, Aug. 2.

Six of the deaths were residents in the Twin Cities metro area, including one person in their 30s in Ramsey County. Four were residents of Hennepin County older than 70. One person in Blue Earth County in their 60s died of the illness, and one person at least 100 years old living in St. Louis County died of the virus. The virus has claimed 1,614 lives in Minnesota since state health officials confirmed the first cases in March.

Over the past week, MDH has reported an average of more than 700 cases per day, which is an increase of 26% from the average two weeks earlier.

The new case totals also come from a higher rate of testing, with nearly 15,000 people in Minnesota being tested daily over the past week.

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Although total case counts rose through most of July, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have risen slightly in the last week but remain relatively low. Health officials reported Sunday 302 people were hospitalized for the illness as of Sunday, with 149 in intensive care units. That’s about half of the peak in May, when more than 600 people were hospitalized.

Since the first case was diagnosed in March, more than 55,947 Minnesotans have contracted the virus and a cumulative of 5,241 people across the state have been hospitalized for it. 48,847 people have recovered and no longer need to be isolated, according to state health officials.

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