Minnesota is reporting 1,723 new coronavirus cases and 10 more deaths linked to COVID-19, the state Department of Health announced Saturday.
With the latest numbers, the rolling seven-day average for new cases is down to about 1,604, according to the Star Tribune's coronavirus tracker. The reading continues a trend over the past two or three weeks of declining seven-day averages after a steady increase in new infections during March and early April.
Health officials say the state's rise in COVID-19 cases this spring coincided with the spread of a more contagious form of the virus.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported deaths increased to its highest reading in three weeks.
The statewide tally of people who have received at least one vaccine dose increased by 23,056 in the latest data release, for a total of 2,556,515 people so far. That's about 58% of residents age 16 and older, according to a state dashboard reading on Saturday.
The Health Department says 1,938,241 people have now completed a one-dose or two-dose vaccine series. Vaccination figures could be understated due to reporting delays.
Residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities accounted for three of the 10 newly announced deaths.
Since Minnesota started detecting virus infections in March 2020, the state has reported 577,524 positive cases, 30,344 hospitalizations and 7,154 deaths.
The new cases came on a volume of 40,797 tests, putting the positivity rate below the state's "caution" level of 5%.
The Star Tribune's tracker shows 102 new hospital admissions reported on Saturday, down from 114 reported one week ago. Daily announcements of new admissions typically include patients who have entered the hospital at some point over the last several days, not just the most recent day.
While the number of COVID-19 patients in Minnesota hospital beds had been steadily increasing since early March, some hospital indicators now are showing signs of leveling off.
Numbers released Saturday show health care workers have accounted for 41,456 positive cases. More than 555,000 people who were infected no longer need to be isolated.
The latest Health Department figures show 4,306,144 vaccine doses administered.
COVID-19 is a respiratory ailment that poses the greatest risk of serious illness in those 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities, and people with underlying medical conditions.
The disease is caused by a coronavirus that surfaced in late 2019. Health problems that boost COVID-19 risk range from lung disease and serious heart conditions to obesity and diabetes.
Most patients with COVID-19 don't need to be hospitalized, and most illnesses involve mild or moderate symptoms. Many cases are asymptomatic.
Data on COVID-19 cases and deaths released Saturday morning were current as of 4 p.m. Friday.
Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744