Another 40 people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, health officials reported Sunday.

The Minnesota Department of Health also reported an increase of 7,219 in new coronavirus infections, according to a data release on Sunday morning.

That brings the total number of cases in Minnesota to 270,157. Statewide, the pandemic's death toll has reached 3,241.

Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities accounted for 22 of the newly announced deaths.

Numbers released Sunday show health care workers have accounted for 20,298 cases statewide.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that surfaced late last year. Since the first case was reported in Minnesota in early March, 14,929 people have been hospitalized.

People at greatest risk from COVID-19 include those 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and those with underlying medical conditions.

Those health problems range from lung disease and serious heart conditions to severe obesity and diabetes. People undergoing treatment for failing kidneys also run a greater risk, as do those with cancer and other conditions where treatments suppress immune systems.

Most patients with COVID-19 don't need to be hospitalized. The illness usually causes mild or moderate symptoms; many cases are asymptomatic.

Confirmed cases have been reported in all of the state's 87 counties.

Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113