(Originally published on July 20)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state’s COVID-19 numbers are up sharply Tuesday, part of a trend we’re seeing nationwide. In Minnesota, 625 new cases were announced, along with one new death. Against the number of new tests processed, Tuesday’s presumed positivity rate is at 11.7%.

The state health department says some of these new numbers are from the weekend, but it’s still a sharp uptick from last week, and experts are warning it will get worse.

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Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic is one of the nation’s leading experts on vaccines. He says he is still wearing a mask even when he steps out of his Mayo office.

“I think there is no question that we are going to see a surge,” he said. “In a crowded scenario, I am in a mask, indoors or outdoors.”

The Minnesota Department of Health say 99% of new cases in Minnesota are in unvaccinated people, and 75% of those new cases are the Delta variant.

“It’s a serious warning for us in Minnesota,” he said. “We are seeing the Delta variant really take over.”

Poland shared a particularly dire warning for those still unvaccinated for COVID.

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“Don’t be deceived that ‘I got this far and I am OK.’ This is a very different variant. It will find you,” he said. “This virus will find everybody who is not immune.”

He is especially worried about children too young to get the vaccine, and teens whose parents are on the fence.

“We are seeing a rise in severe disease and hospitalizations among young people,” Poland said.

He agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics that, this fall, all kids should wear a mask in school, whether they’re vaccinated or not.

“A mask is not a political symbol. It is a medical symbol of taking care of yourself and others,” he said.

Poland says the risk in even crowded outdoor settings is evidenced by this new surge, which is coming just two weeks after the Fourth of July.

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“This is a serious, current and present danger to you and your families’ health if you are not vaccinated,” he said.