Another 1,632 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths were announced Monday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health.

This marks the fourth consecutive day where cases were above the 1,500 mark and comes after a record-setting 2,297 cases on Friday on a testing volume of nearly 45,000.

By comparison, the number of tests reported to the state on Sunday was 22,171, a 30% one-day decrease.

The new numbers bring Minnesota's historic total of infections from the new coronavirus to 124,439, along with 2,239 deaths.

Four of the deaths were among residents of long-term care facilities, for a total of 1,578 fatalities within that population.

Last week, state health officials said that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases was widespread across the state and was not linked to any one event.

"It is the result of steady, inexorable spread," Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

Any state response to the increase has triggered "an ongoing conversation within the administration," she said, but for now the public health message is to encourage everyone to follow COVID-19 safety precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing.

"The frustration around all of this is these are preventable illnesses and we all have an ability to make a big difference here," Malcolm said.

As of Friday, the seven-day rolling case positivity rate was 5.3%, an increase from 5% the previous week.

With more cases, the state is also seeing an uptick in those who need hospital care, with 458 new admissions over the past week. Of those, 80 required intensive care.

People with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, obesity and diabetes are most likely to be affected by COVID-19 complications.

Most people, however, experience no or mild symptoms.

Since the pandemic began, 88%, or 109,963 of those sickened, are considered to no longer be infectious.

Glenn Howatt • 612-673-7192