Minnesota health officials are urging vaccinations and mask-wearing as COVID-19 cases rise in the state and nationwide.  State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says half of the state’s COVID-19 cases from the last two months were reported in the last two weeks and the Delta variant is responsible for about 85-percent of the state’s current cases:

“So our advice to Minnesotans is pretty straightforward. First, if you are eligible for COVID vaccination and haven’t gotten around to it — now is certainly the time. This Delta variant is a gamechanger as the CDC has said and it will find you and make you sick. Or just as bad you will spread it around to people who are susceptible if you are not vaccinated.”

Malcolm says about 99-percent of Minnesota’s recent virus-related deaths and 97-percent of hospitalizations are among unvaccinated residents.