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Diagnostic tests have found another 622 infections with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in 57 Minnesota counties.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday also reported two deaths related to the infectious disease, bringing the state’s death toll to 1,616. The total count of known infections is now 56,560.

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No additional cases have yet been identified among the thousands of people who attended a rodeo in Itasca County on July 25-27, a state health spokesman said, but that remains a concern due to the crowded stands and lack of mask wearing that increased transmission risk at the outdoor event.

The Health Department urged attendees of the North Star Stampede Rodeo to be on the lookout for respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 after finding a case among someone who had been at the event from July 23-26 and who became sick on July 27.

The state reported that 302 people are admitted to Minnesota hospitals for COVID-19, and that 153 need intensive care due to breathing problems or other complications. The ICU number is at its highest point since June 27, but well below the peak number in the pandemic of 263 COVID-19 patients needing intensive care on May 30.

The deaths reported Monday were a person in the 70 to 79 age range from Dakota County and a person in the 80 to 89 age range from Anoka County. Neither lived in long-term care facilities that have reported the majority of COVID-19 deaths so far in the pandemic.

Minnesota hasn’t reported more than nine COVID-19 deaths in a single day since July 2. Health officials remain concerned about a potential increase in deaths and hospitalizations due to rising case counts following the June 10 limited reopening of indoor bars, restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment venues in the state.

The rate of infections in communities with unknown transmission sources has now increased to 34%. Health officials are concerned about that trend as well, because it means the virus is spreading beyond their ability to track it.

Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744