MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  As the CDC gave the green light for Pfizer vaccines for children as young as 5 years old — clearing the final regulatory hurdle for younger kids to start receiving Pfizer’s vaccine this week — the MDH says that there have been 2,956 newly reported positive cases, and 43 more deaths due to COVID-19.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s daily update, the state’s total number of people who have been infected by COVID has risen to 799,550 since the pandemic began, with 8,761 deaths attributed to the virus. Starting this week, Minnesota health officials began reporting the number of people who were reinfected since the start of the pandemic. That figure now stands at 8,406.

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The latest new case figures include two from Hennepin County, one in their late 20s and one in their early 30s.

Minnesota’s latest rolling seven-day average positivity rate is again showing signs of being on the rise, now at 8.1% after dipping down to 7.1% late October. There are also a reported 42.3 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk.

As of Monday morning, figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 74.9% of Minnesotans 16 or older had received at least one vaccine dose, and 95.3% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 7,022,338 doses of vaccine, with about 3.32 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

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There have been more than 463,000 vaccine booster shots given to eligible Minnesotans.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise again. Total ICU bed usage among COVID-19 patients is at 227. Additionally, there are currently 777 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in non-ICU beds. The rate of new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is at 13.2.

Worldwide, the pandemic has officially killed at least 5 million, though many expect the actual figure to be significantly higher than that.

Late Tuesday, the CDC issued formal recommendations Tuesday for children as young as 5 years old to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The White House says millions of vials of Pfizer’s lower-dose vaccine formulated for younger children have already begun shipping to health care providers following the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization last week.

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