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Teens fueling slight increase in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS  — Health officials say teenagers are behind a slight increase in coronavirus activity in Minnesota.

The state Department of Health reported 6,818 additional COVID-19 cases in the week ending Tuesday. About 10% involved teenagers 15 to 19 years old.

The risk for that age group increased when in-person instruction and sports activities resumed earlier this year.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said mask-wearing and social distancing are still needed to slow the transmission of the coronavirus even as schools reopen and bars, restaurants and entertainment venues are allowed to host larger groups, the Star Tribune reported.

“We just need to keep attending to those basic prevention steps that we know are so critical for helping to control spread of the virus as we continue to make progress on vaccinations,” she said.

State health officials said Tuesday that 1,265,430 people in Minnesota have received COVID-19 vaccine, and 729,294 have completed the series either by receiving two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer versions or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Minnesota has reported 498,926 COVID-19 cases and 6,749 deaths, including 716 infections and two deaths that were added on Tuesday.