Outbreaks in workplaces and at social gatherings continue to fuel growth in Minnesota's COVID-19 infections, with 936 new confirmed cases announced Monday by state health officials.
While Monday's case counts are a decrease from the more than 1,000 cases reported on each of the past three days, the number of tests performed on Minnesota residents passed a milestone.
More than 2 million tests have now been processed in the effort to identify residents who are infected with the new coronavirus. Nearly 1.4 million Minnesotans have been tested, with some getting more than one.
The percentage of tests that have come back positive for COVID-19 has risen to 5.4%, up from 4.4% last week.
"We are getting closer and closer with every passing day to having 100,000 cases," said state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann.
Altogether, 97,638 COVID-19 cases have been detected in the state.
There have been more than 500 workplaces where three or more employees have become infected with COVID-19, most of those sparked by a worker who brought the disease into the workplace from the community.
In addition, 37 weddings and 11 funerals have spawned outbreaks, including a Martin County funeral that recently led to 39 cases, including one person who was hospitalized, Ehresmann said.
"We are seeing more and more instances where we have large groups gathering together with little or no social distancing or masking," she said.
Seven more deaths were reported to state health officials, bringing the total number of fatalities to 2,015.
On Saturday, the state's COVID-19 death toll passed the 2,000 mark. The number of deaths each week has fallen from the early days of the pandemic.
It took two months for Minnesota to see 1,000 deaths at the end of May and another four months for the fatality count to double.
Two of the deaths announced Monday were among residents of nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. About 72% of all COVID-19 deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities.
Most of those who have died had underlying health conditions, including hypertension, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and kidney disease.
About one-quarter of all COVID-19 cases have been in people in their 20s, who typically develop a mild form of the disease that does not require medical attention.
But health officials are concerned that they could pass the disease along to someone who is more vulnerable to complications.
Five people were hospitalized because of infections from the new coronavirus, including two who needed intensive care.
Of those who have been infected, 87,330 are considered to be no longer infectious and do not require isolation.
Test reports fell 12% to 22,162, which typically happens over the weekends.