MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Health reported 101 more deaths due to COVID-19 on Friday, the first time the state has topped 100 single-day deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The state health department reported 5,704 new cases on Friday, putting the state at 3,476 deaths and 295,001 cases due to the virus since March.

More than 1,800 patients are hospitalized, including more than 380 in intensive care, as dramatic case growth over the past month has led to increasing hospitalizations and deaths. Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement the significant increase in deaths “reinforces that tragic pattern.”

“This is painful and frustrating, but every day we get closer to having safe and effective vaccines that should help resolve this crisis,” Malcolm said.

She urged people to stay home and avoid gatherings during the holidays as the state awaits widespread vaccine availability.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Minnesota has risen from 34 deaths per day on Nov. 12 to almost 42 deaths per day on Nov. 26, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

State health officials did not update virus case numbers on Thursday in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday. The figures reported on Friday reflect data from Wednesday.

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