By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just over 57% of Minnesotans ages 16 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the latest data released by the Minnesota Department of Health. Meanwhile, the numbers for new infections continue to trend downward.

In Wednesday’s update, health officials reported 438 new COVID cases, bringing the cumulative case count to 599,909. Twelve deaths were also tallied in the last 24 hours, lifting the virus’ death toll to 7,393.

Now that children as young as 12 are able to receive the Pfizer vaccine, more than half of the state’s eligible vaccine population has gotten their first shot. According to officials, more than 62,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 15 have gotten at least one vaccine dose since since the shots began being offered to them earlier this month.

Gov. Tim Walz and health officials are continuing to urge Minnesotans to get vaccinated, saying that the more people get inoculated, the sooner life can return to something resembling normal this summer.

In the last 24 hours, nearly 19,000 COVID-19 tests were processed in Minnesota, suggesting a daily positivity rate of 2.3%.

As of last week, the rolling seven-day average positivity rate was just above 4%. That’s down from an early April peak of 7.5%, when Minnesota experienced a surge in cases attributed to a variant first reported in the U.K.

Earlier this month, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate fell below 5%, which is what health officials consider the threshold for caution.