ROCHESTER, Minn. -- New cases of COVID-19 continued their rise on Thursday, July 23, as Minnesota approaches a statewide indoor mask mandate starting at midnight Saturday. The Minnesota Department of Health reported another 763 cases Thursday.

The new cases come on the news of another 16,676 tests reported Thursday, however, with Twin Cities metro counties dominating the outbreak. The state's latest seven-day average case positivity rate is still below 10% at 5.8%.

The state reported an additional nine deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, as well.

Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Pennington, Pipestone, Scott and Washington counties all reported a single death, the latter being a person in their 40s, while Ramsey County reported two. Six of the nine deaths were among residents of long-term care.

The number of lives lost to the illness in the state is now 1,561.

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ICU patients with the illness dropped by 12 to 107, while those hospitalized in non-ICU settings with COVID-19 rose by 21 to 175.

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

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