Minnesota reported 24 more COVID-19 deaths and 2,388 new infections on Wednesday.
The latest deaths recorded by the state health department included three in their 30s, four in their 50s and several in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Of the latest reported deaths, five were in long-term care and 19 were in private homes.
Seniors account for 87 percent of Minnesota’s COVID-19 cases, but deaths are rising among middle-aged and younger residents. There have been 22 deaths under the age of 30 and 1,102 between the ages of 30 and 64.
Since the pandemic began, 8,354 Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, with 4,687 deaths in long-term care. Another 113 people are suspected to have died due to COVID-19, but that person never had a positive coronavirus test.
Hospitalizations continue and Minnesota nears 1,000 COVID-19 patients. 990 patients, including 260 in critical condition, are hospitalized.
Available hospital beds are in short supply in most parts of the state, mainly due to staff shortage.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid serious infections and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Breakthrough infections are becoming more common, but more than 98 percent of the 3.2 million Minnesotans who have been fully vaccinated have not reported a breakthrough case.
Minnesota has given 6.6 million doses of the vaccine and 3.4 million residents have received at least one shot. About 73 percent of the eligible population, who are 12 years of age and older, have received at least one dose.