Minnesota is reporting 1,661 new coronavirus cases and 13 more deaths linked to COVID-19, the state Department of Health announced Thursday.
With the latest numbers, the seven-day rolling average for net new cases is down to about 1,470, according to the Star Tribune's coronavirus tracker. The reading continues a trend over the past three weeks of declining seven-day averages after a steady increase in new infections during March and early April.
The state saw a rise in COVID-19 cases this spring that coincided with the spread of a more contagious form of the virus.
The statewide tally of people who have received at least one vaccine dose increased by 15,448 in the latest data release, to more than 2.6 million people so far. That's about 59% of residents age 16 and older, according to a state dashboard reading on Thursday.
The pace of immunizations has slowed significantly over the past month, according to the Star Tribune's vaccination tracker.
Whereas the seven-day rolling average for people in Minnesota receiving their first dose of vaccine peaked at about 40,000 in early April, it has since fallen to about 16,000 per day earlier this week. The daily count for second doses administered isn't down as much, although the numbers have leveled off somewhat.
The Health Department says more than 2 million people have completed a one-dose or two-dose vaccine series.
Residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities accounted for two of the 13 newly announced deaths.
Since Minnesota started detecting virus infections in March 2020, the state has reported 584,227 positive cases, 30,783 hospitalizations and 7,204 deaths.
The new cases came on a volume of 38,262 tests. The state's official measure for the positivity rate — the share of tests coming back positive — has been trending down, but is still above the "caution" level at 5.9%.
The Star Tribune's coronavirus tracker shows 92 new hospital admissions reported on Thursday. 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 Thursday show health care workers have accounted for 41,759 positive cases. More than 563,000 people who were infected no longer need to be isolated.
The latest Health Department figures show more than 4.4 million vaccine doses administered overall.
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 Thursday morning were current as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. Vaccination numbers were current as of Tuesday.
Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744