ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed another milestone Tuesday, Sept. 21, with 18 more fatalities recorded by the state Department of Health pushing the total number of lives lost to the pandemic to 8,011.

The last time Minnesota marked such a point was in April when the state surpassed 7,000 deaths. It took 157 days to add about 1,000 deaths, the longest stretch of the pandemic.

That’s largely because vaccines have been widely available since Spring. While there have been 118 fatalities of vaccinated residents that is just 0.004% of the more than 3 million who are fully vaccinated.

Driven by the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, breakthrough cases are on the rise, but 99% of fully vaccinated people in Minnesota have not reported a breakthrough infection.

The latest deaths ranged in age from their early 40s to their late 80s with 13 residing in private homes and five in long-term care. One of the deaths occurred back in December and one in August, the remaining 16 happened in September.

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Since the outbreak began about 1.2% of Minnesotans who have tested positive have died from COVID-19.

About 87% of fatalities from COVID-19 are seniors. But health officials say severe cases have been on the rise in younger people, particularly those who are unvaccinated.

The overall death rate has slowly been on the rise since mid-August and the current rolling-seven-day average is about 13 fatalities per day.

Minnesota reported 6,352 new coronavirus cases Tuesday bringing the state total to 690,391. The state only reports data on business days so Tuesday’s reported cases stretch over the past weekend.

Of those who tested positive since March 2020, about 96% have recovered. There are an estimated 16,200 people with active infections who are recovering at home.

There are 791 patients hospitalized including 222 in critical condition. Since the pandemic began more than 37,000 people have needed hospital care including 7,500 requiring intensive care.

Minnesota has administered 6.3 million doses of vaccine and 3.3 million people have gotten one shot. More than 71% of the vaccine eligible population has gotten at least one shot.