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Another 773 new COVID-19 infections across Minnesota were announced Friday, marking the second consecutive day with more than 700 cases.

Since Monday, state health officials have announced nearly 3,300 new infections, bringing the known number of cases to 49,488.

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The increase in cases comes as Minnesota readies for a new requirement that face coverings be worn in public indoor spaces and businesses. The order, issued by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, takes effect Saturday.

However, many cities and several businesses already have mask requirements.

Five deaths were reported Friday.

Deaths due to complications of the new coronavirus now stand at 1,566. About 77% of those were among residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Two of the deaths announced Friday were among long-term care residents.

Another 40 deaths are suspected to be caused by COVID-19 but the infections were not confirmed by a positive test.

Minnesota has 278 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 complications, a one-day decrease of four. Of those, 108 required intensive care.

COVID-19 complications typically develop in those with underlying health conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease.

Most people who are infected experience mild or even no symptoms and recover without medical intervention. Since the pandemic began, 42,882 are considered to have recovered and no longer need to be isolated.

There were 16,789 COVID-19 diagnostic tests were reported to the state in the 24-hour period that ended at 4 p.m. Thursday, a one-day increase of 136.

Glenn Howatt • 612-673-7192