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Minnesota cases see growth

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,632 new cases of the coronavirus and five deaths on Monday after climbing over 2,000 daily cases on one day last week.

The newly-reported numbers raised the statewide totals to 124,439 cases and 2,239 deaths since the pandemic began in March. Minnesota’s death count is the 24th highest in the country overall and the 30th highest per capita at 40.8 deaths per 100,000 people, according to figures compiled by researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

Case growth in Minnesota has continued to trend upward, with about 338 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, which ranks 16th in the country for new cases per capita. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in the state has increased by 493.2, an increase of 48.7%. The state hit a one-day record of 2,297 new cases Friday.

Though Minnesota is seeing cases rise, the state is being outpaced by outbreaks in surrounding states. This weekend, North Dakota and South Dakota ranked first and second in new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks with 1,069 and 978 respectively, and Wisconsin broke its record for new positive cases three times last week.

‘Clouds’ hits No. 1 on iTunes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Seven years after his death to cancer at age 18, a Minnesota singer-songwriter has returned to the top of the iTunes chart with his inspirational tune “Clouds.”

The Star Tribune reports that “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech took over iTunes’ No. 1 slot from Justin Bieber on Sunday, two days after the Hollywood movie of the same name based on Sobiech’s life premiered on Disney+.

The ranking is based on downloads of the song. The profits will add to the $2 million already raised for cancer research via Sobiech’s namesake foundation.

The single first climbed to the top of iTunes in 2013, shortly after the Stillwater-area teenager’s death. He had been diagnosed with bone cancer four years earlier.

By that point, the YouTube video that led to the song’s ascent had been viewed 4 million times. It’s up over 15 million now. The song also went to No. 26 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and No. 3 on the rock singles chart.

The movie is an adaptation of the memoir “Fly a Little Higher” by Zach’s mother, Laura Sobiech.

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