MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Minnesota, as health officials report 2,553 additional cases and four deaths. At the same time, more than 2.7 million vaccines have now been administered in the state, with 39% of the population completing their first dose.

For the second day in a row, Minnesota cases topped 2,000, a number not reached since the beginning of January.

READ MORE: COVID In Wisconsin: Nearly 25% Of The Population Fully Vaccinated

The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has been rising since late February; as of March 24, it reached 5.5%, above the “caution” threshold authorities use to determine COVID-19 restrictions. Hospitalizations too are rising, with 24.6 admissions per 100,000 residents, which is in the “high risk” category.

At the same time, COVID-19 community spread is as high as ever, with 45% of cases not knowing where they contracted the virus.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: State Reports Nearly 2K More Cases; 1.42 Million Have Completed Vaccine Series

State health officials say the majority of the new cases can be tied to the U.K. variant of the virus. In order to combat the spread, they encourage Minnesotans to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

As of March 31, more than 1 million Minnesotans – roughly 24.7% of the state’s population – have completed the vaccine series. Over 81% of Minnesotans 65 and older have received at least one dose.

Since last March, there have been 524,203 positive cases and 6,864 deaths.

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The Minnesota Department of Health says that in the last 24 hours, over 50,000 COVID-19 tests were processed. More than 3.7 million Minnesotans have been tested for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.