MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As CDC advisers meet to vote on whether to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, Minnesota health officials on Tuesday reported 7,043 additional virus cases and 24 more deaths.

The daily update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes data from the weekend and is current as of 4 a.m. Monday. The figures bring the state’s total positive cases to 805,015 — over 8,000 of those being reinfections.

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One of the 24 newly reported deaths was a person in their late 40s in Wadena County. The state’s death toll is now at 8,718.

In hospitals as of Monday, there were 223 patients with COVID-19 in ICU beds, with an additional 755 patient needing non-ICU beds.

Gov. Tim Walz announced on Tuesday the first skilled-nursing facility that will help relieve hospitals overwhelmed by patients needing care for COVID-19.

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Benedictine St. Gertrude’s in Shakopee will be accepting up to 30 patients from area hospitals, providing transitional care and allowing hospitals to treat those sick with COVID-19 and others requiring emergency support.

Meanwhile, the latest positivity rate is on an upward trend, with 7.9% recorded as of Oct. 25 due to data lag. The positivity rate had dipped to 7.1% on Oct. 20 after reaching well over 8% earlier in the month.

As for vaccinations, over 7 million doses have been administered in the state so far; 449,284 were booster doses. Nearly 74% of those ages 12 and up have received at least one vaccine dose.

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