ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The state of Minnesota reported another 611 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, July 16.

New cases swelled in suburban Dakota (51), Anoka (42), Carver (17) and Scott (10) counties. Neighboring Sherburne (26) and Stearns (21) counties posted higher than average numbers as well.

There were eight deaths recorded from the virus Thursday. The state reported one death each in Dakota, Winona, Ramsey and Koochiching counties, with two each in Hennepin and Scott counties.

Of the eight deaths, four were among residents of long-term care. In total, 1,526 Minnesotans have died of the virus.

Health officials posted another 14,812 tests on Thursday, a number that put the state over 800,000 total tests taken. At the present rate, Minnesota is likely to have conducted 1 million tests by the start of August, a number equal to nearly one-fifth of the state's population.

ICU use for COVID-19 continues to drop, and is now down to 103 beds. That said, there are 146 Minnesotans hospitalized with the virus in non-ICU settings.

As cities around Minnesota debate or enact face mask ordinances, Minneapolis-based retailer Target on Thursday said it will join Walmart, CVS, Costco, Best Buy and other major retailers in requiring that customers wear masks. The order will go into effect in August.

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

COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148

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