MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With an outline for plans on vaccinating children 5 to 11 starting to take shape, Minnesota health officials on Tuesday reported an additional 1,858 virus cases and 32 more deaths due to COVID-19.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s daily update, the state’s total positive cases have risen to 765,761 since the pandemic began, with 8,489 deaths attributed to the virus.

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Minnesota’s latest rolling seven-day average positivity rate appears to have reached a plateau for the moment, now at 8.3%. The line for high risk is drawn at 10%. There are also a reported 49.9 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk, but also represents what could be the start of a downward trend after peaking above 50.

As of Tuesday morning, figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 74.3% of Minnesotans 16 or older had received at least one vaccine dose, and 94.6% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 6,741,937 doses of vaccine, with about 3.28 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

There have been more than 258,000 vaccine booster shots given to eligible Minnesotans.

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Total ICU bed usage among COVID-19 patients is at 240. Additionally, there are currently 695 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in non-ICU beds. Many hospitals in the state are reporting being stretched close to capacity as these figures continue to remain high. The rate of deaths being reported is roughly double what it was a month ago. The rate of new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is at 14.7.

Children aged 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for younger children in a matter of weeks.

Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids, after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines.

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