Minnesota is reporting 2,454 new coronavirus cases and 12 more deaths linked to COVID-19, the state Department of Health announced Saturday.

It was the fourth consecutive day of Minnesota reporting more than 2,000 new cases, continuing a trend over the past month of growing case counts with the spread of a more contagious form of SARS-CoV-2.

Hospitalizations for people sickened by COVID-19 have been on the rise, as well. The seven-day rolling average for current COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased for four weeks and counting, jumping from 229 on March 11 to 481 on Thursday, according to a University of Minnesota database from researchers at the Carlson School of Management.

"That's a 110% increase — and it has been higher every single day," said Dr. Archelle Georgiou, a researcher and executive-in-residence at the U's Medical Industry Leadership Institute.

The statewide tally for people who have received at least one vaccine dose increased by 54,331 in the latest data release, for a total of 1,994,412 people so far. That's about 45% of residents age 16 and older, the state says.

The Health Department says 1,333,998 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 and assisted-living facilities accounted for two of the newly announced deaths.

Since Minnesota started detecting virus infections in March 2020, the state has reported 540,277 positive cases, 28,220 hospitalizations and 6,944 deaths.

The new cases came on a volume of 35,770 tests, putting the positivity rate again above the state's "caution" level of 5%.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744