Minnesota is reporting 1,565 new coronavirus cases and 31 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19, the state Health Department announced Saturday.

The statewide tally for people who've received at least one vaccine dose increased by 15,114 in the latest data release, for a total of 229,163 people thus far. That's about 4% of the state's population — up from 3% last Saturday, according to Star Tribune estimates.

The Health Department says 59,715 people have now completed the two-dose series, up from 32,131 last Saturday. The figures could understate the total for doses administered due to reporting delays and vaccinations at federal facilities.

Seven-day averages for new cases have been trending down over the past two weeks and have dropped considerably from November's peak for infections.

Health officials feared a sharp uptick in cases due to holiday travel in December. But so far, but that increase has been modest and manageable. At the same time, Minnesota reported two weeks ago its first cases of a variant strain of the virus that's thought to spread more quickly.

Health Department figures on Saturday show a total of 289,846 vaccine doses administered, an increase of more than 80,000 since last Saturday's total of 206,559 doses.

COVID-19 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. Most illnesses involve mild or moderate symptoms; many cases are asymptomatic.

Data released Saturday morning was current as of 4 p.m. Friday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744