MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As state leaders prepare to vaccinate kids 5 to 11 years old as early as next week, health officials on Thursday reported 2,690 more COVID-19 cases and 41 more deaths.

The daily update from the Minnesota Department of Health brings the state’s total positive cases to 784,233 and total deaths to 8,653 since the pandemic began.

READ MORE: COVID-19 In MN: Gov. Walz Says State Leads Midwest In Vaccinating 5-11 Age Group

Of the 41 newly reported deaths, one involved a person in their late-40s in St. Louis County. All deaths occurred in October.

Meanwhile, the state’s latest positivity rate is on a downward trend — 7.1% as of Oct. 20. That’s compared to 8.4% recorded on Oct. 9.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: State Reports 98% Occupancy Rate In Hospital ICUs

So far, nearly 74% of those ages 12 and up have received at least one vaccine dose. Just over 70% of the same group are fully vaccinated. It comes as state leaders unveil plans to inoculate a new age group — 5- to 11-year-olds — as early as early November. That’s when the official green light could be given to vaccinate the youngest age group so far.

Since July 1 in Minnesota, and as students have largely returned to in-person classes, there have been more than 45,200 pediatric cases and more than 300 child hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

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