By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Health officials in Minnesota on Friday reported 3,378 additional cases of COVID-19, as the average daily positivity continues to rise.

The positivity rate has jumped to 8.4% as of last week. Case growth and hospitalizations – at 45.9 and 13.5 per 100,000 residents respectively – have been climbing in recent weeks, after dipping slightly in October.

Overall, Minnesota has seen 815,008 COVID-19 cases since March of 2020 and 8,828 deaths. The Minnesota Department of Health reported 35 new deaths on Friday; 25 of them took place in October.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 982 people in Minnesota hospitals with the virus, of which 235 were in the ICU. Staffed ICU bed availability is becoming increasingly limited, with just 2.8% available in the metro area. Across the state most regions are seeing less than 15% availability, with the exception of west-central Minnesota.

This week, the state started administering vaccines to children as young as 5, following final approval from the Center for Disease Control. In all, the state has administered 7,077,652 vaccine doses, and 62.6% of the state’s total population has received at least one dose. The governor’s office says 94% of Minnesotans are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

In newly released data, MDH reports that 351 children between 5 and 11 have at least one dose of the vaccine.

St. Paul Public Schools will offer two vaccine clinics at elementary schools later this month in an effort to help all students access shots.