ROCHESTER, Minn. -- COVID-19 continues its spread in metro suburban Carver, Scott and Dakota counties, which reported 16, 20 and 47 cases respectively on Thursday, July 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Outbreaks that the health department has consistently linked to bars appear to be behind an additional ongoing daily spike in the Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud areas Thursday, with health officials reporting 24 cases in Blue Earth, 28 cases in Olmsted and 21 cases in Stearns counties.

In all, the state reported 589 new cases and five deaths from COVID-19 Thursday.

The deaths were reported in Anoka, Dakota, Polk and Pipestone counties, the latter which reported two deaths from the virus on the same day. Four of the day's five deaths were among residents of long-term care facilities.

As of Thursday, 1,490 Minnesotans had died of the virus, leaving the state poised to surpass 1,500 COVID-19 deaths by the end of the coming weekend. The state reported 12,535 tests on Thursday, putting the state over the 700,000 mark in total tests conducted.

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The number of patients hospitalized in the ICU with coronavirus continues to drop, falling to 116, a number last seen in late April. Patients hospitalized in non-ICU settings from COVID-19 dropped to 135.

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Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.

COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.