(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.

GALLOWAY, N.J. (CBS) – A new Stockton University poll reveals that New Jerseyans are split when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The university polled 728 adults who live in New Jersey asking them where they stand on the issue. Forty-nine percent of those polled said they support legalizing pot for recreational purposes. Currently, medical marijuana is only legal in the Garden State. According to the study, 44 percent oppose legalization, with roughly 5 percent unsure. “These poll results suggest there is not a consensus in New Jersey on whether marijuana should be made legal,” said Michael W. Klein, interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton. Stockton says 75 percent of those poll stated that they don’t currently use marijuana and would not do so even if it was legal. But, roughly one in four participants (15 percent) said that although they do not use the drug, they would try it if it were legal. Younger adults and men are more likely to support legalization, the study shows. Sixty-four percent of respondents younger than age 50 support legalization, compared to 41 percent age 50 and older. Among men, 56 percent support legalizing marijuana, while only 44 percent of women do. Twenty-four percent of pro-legalization participants said their main reason for supporting the law would be tax revenues. Twenty-two percent said that marijuana was safer than alcohol and 11 percent said pot was safer than tobacco. About 11 percent of pro-legalization participants said that legalizing marijuana would reduce law enforcement or prison costs. Governor Phil Murphy has expressed his support for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey. Stockton conducted the poll from March 22-29, 2018. Interviewers working from the Stockton University campus called landline and cell telephones. The statewide poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.65 percentage points. CLICK HERE to learn more.