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Confirmed COVID-19 cases falling statewide and in west central Minnesota

While confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to fall, an average of more than 230 cases are confirmed each day in Minnesota, and an average of five deaths a day are related to COVID-19.

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Ninety new cases were reported from April 9 through April 15 in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. No deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported in area counties.

WILLMAR — The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in west central Minnesota has continued to fall, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Ninety new cases were reported from April 9 through April 15 in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. That's 20 fewer that reported in the previous update.

No deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported in area counties.

The state's report of new cases is an undercount, because at-home test results are not included.

In west central Minnesota, 15 people from area counties were hospitalized — nine from Stearns County; four from Kandiyohi County; and one each in Pope and Redwood counties. Fewer hospitalizations were reported in the previous report.


In all cases, the numbers in the updates are preliminary and may change as more information is received.

The state’s current death toll attributed to COVID-19 is 14,696, an increase of 37 from last week's report and an average of about 5 deaths a day.

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,792,068, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 1,621, an average of about 232 new cases a day. The daily average is 11 cases lower than in the previous state update.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 again more than 90 days after an initial lab-confirmed positive test are considered to have a reinfection.

New cases reported in the area last week: Big Stone , 1; Chippewa , 3; Kandiyohi , 14; Lac qui Parle , 3; Meeker , 6; Pope , 3; Redwood , 6; Renville , 3; Stearns , 45; Swift , 2; Yellow Medicine , 4.

The state reported 186 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of April 18. That includes 174 people hospitalized in medical units, four fewer than the week before, and another 12 in intensive care units, 14 fewer than the week before.

Hospitalizations had a seven-day average of 20 in ICUs and 183 in medical units. Both daily averages are slightly lower than the week before.

As of April 18, 4,013,571 Minnesotans, 72.1%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine , and 68.1% of the state's population, 3,788,920, have completed the vaccine series.


The number of people listed as being up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had booster shots, is 1,409,861, which is 25.3% of Minnesotans. For ages 6 months through 4 years, up to date means a complete primary series. For ages 5 and older, up to date means a complete primary series and a bivalent booster dose when due.

In June 2022, the department began providing a weekly update, replacing the daily updates that began in spring 2020. The updates are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. and include data received as of 4 a.m. the preceding Tuesday.

When the report refers to numbers from last week, it refers to information gathered from Sunday through Saturday the week before the information is released.

As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status. If this coverage is important to you, please consider supporting local journalism and subscribing here .

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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