Another 492 COVID-19 cases were confirmed by state officials Thursday as increased testing begins to capture more of the infections that have spread throughout the state.

That brings the total of known Minnesota cases to 5,136.

Twenty-four more deaths were reported, with 343 fatalities so far. Nearly 80% of all deaths have been among residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, including 22 of the 24 announced Thursday. Almost all of the deaths were among those with underlying health conditions.

There were 365 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications, with 130 needing intensive care.

A total of 2,172 people, or 42% of known cases, have recovered and no longer need isolation.

The new numbers come as Gov. Tim Walz is scheduled to announce Thursday an update on Minnesota's stay-at-home order, which is scheduled to expire on Monday.

Walz said Wednesday that a wholesale ending of the order would be futile because many workers would refuse to return to workplaces with high infection risks. However, large and small employers alike should be able to reopen when they put effective social distancing precautions in place.

"If we can make a large plant function, and we can do it without infecting people, we probably ought to be able to allow the Ace Hardware store to be able sell a hammer when they need to with a couple people in the store," he said.

There have been more than 2,000 tests processed each day since late last week, with 3,279 tests performed Wednesday.

Still, many who have caught the new coronavirus have not been tested, meaning that the data on known COVID-19 cases tells an incomplete story of its impacts on Minnesota.

Nobles County has the second highest number of cases outside of Hennepin County with 742, but that reflects a focused effort to test employees of the JBS pork processing plant, as well as family and community members due to the outbreak there.

Hennepin's high number of 1,738 is driven by a high number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities, which in turn led to more positive cases as more tests were administered to residents and staff.

The daily announcement of new cases is also a rearview mirror picture of the outbreak — cases that tested positive Wednesday can be of people who were infected one to two weeks ago. It can take up to two weeks for COVID-19 symptoms to appear.

Staff writer Jeremy Olson contributed to this report.

Twitter: @GlennHowatt