Eight more Minnesotans have died from COVID-19 — four of them residents of long term care facilities — bringing the state’s death toll to 1,526. Health officials say they’re concerned about Minnesota’s rising rate of COVID-positive cases:

“Definite trend upward there — not at a super accelerating rate, but still a steady progression up in terms of our test positivity rate.”

…State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. The latest report shows the COVID hospitalization rate for black Minnesotans more than 10 times that for whites, and the death rate over four times higher. Health officials believe higher rates of chronic disease among populations of color explain some of the difference. Despite concern about a possible resurgence of COVID, hospitalizations in Minnesota are still at their lowest levels since mid-April.

The state Health Department’s Doctor Ruth Lynfield says we’ve come so far in the coronavirus fight and now is not the time to go backward:

“It isn’t a discussion about blaming our doing things wrong but what we want to communicate is each of us have a responsibility and have the ability to work hard about preventing transmission of this virus.”

Lynfield says every single Minnesotan can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves, their families and their communities:

“We have the power to protect our small businesses, our local economies and make it more likely that we will be able to get back to activities and services that we are all craving for.”