Minnesota is reporting 1,449 new coronavirus cases and nine more deaths linked to COVID-19, the state Health Department announced Friday.

The latest numbers mean the seven-day rolling average for net case increases is now about 1,098 per day, according to the Star Tribune's coronavirus tracker, continuing a recent trend of case increases.

From late January through early March, seven-day averages generally ranged from 750 to 1,000 cases per day.

The statewide tally for people who have received at least one vaccine dose increased by 34,682 in the latest data release, for a total of 1,337,982 people so far. That's about 24% of the state's population, according to Star Tribune estimates.

The Health Department says 788,495 people have now completed the two-dose vaccine series. Vaccination figures could understate the total for doses administered due to reporting delays; numbers reported Friday were current two days ago, according to officials.

Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities accounted for three of the nine newly-announced deaths.

Since Minnesota started detecting virus infections in March 2020, the state has reported 502,893 positive cases, 26,578 hospitalizations and 6,771 deaths.

The state's one-day count of 1,449 new cases came on a volume of 40,005 newly completed tests — meaning the share of tests coming back positive was again below the state's "caution" level of 5%. The positivity rate, however, has been increasing over the last week or so.

The Star Tribune's tracker shows 58 new hospital admissions reported on Friday, compared with 42 admissions reported on Friday, March 12. 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 continues to be low compared with peaks last year, it's been increasing in recent days. Numbers released Friday show health care workers have accounted for 38,656 positive cases. More than 485,000 people who were infected no longer need to be isolated.

The latest Health Department figures show a total of 2,082,088 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 Friday morning was current as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744