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COVID-19 statistics decreasing in west central Minnesota

Confirmed COVID-19 case numbers have decreased in Minnesota, as have deaths and hospitalizations. Daily averages have fallen, too, with a daily average of 515 new cases and seven deaths.

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New cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths among area residents have fallen, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

WILLMAR — New cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths among area residents have fallen, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The death of a person from Kandiyohi County was reported in the state update.

In the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune, 229 new confirmed cases were reported from Feb. 26 through March 4, 58 fewer than in the previous update. Nearly half the new cases were reported in Stearns County, which has the largest population in the area.

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

Eight people from area counties were hospitalized — three from Stearns; two from Renville; and one each from Kandiyohi, Pope and Redwood counties.


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 14,449, an increase of 48 from last week's report and an average of about seven deaths a day.

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,778,866, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 3,602, an average of about 515 new cases a day. The daily average decreased by more than 200 cases since last week's 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, 12; Chippewa , 1; Kandiyohi , 35; Lac qui Parle , 5; Meeker , 23; Pope , 11; Redwood , 10; Renville , 17; Stearns, 113; Swift, 0; Yellow Medicine, 2.

The state reported 370 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of March 7. That includes 336 people hospitalized in medical units, six fewer than the week before, and another 34 in intensive care units, three fewer than the week before.

Hospitalizations had a seven-day average of 41 in ICUs and 339 in medical units. The daily average is higher for ICUs and slightly lower in medical units.

As of March 7, 4,011,631 Minnesotans, 72.1%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 68.1% of the state's population, 3,786,705, 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 1,371,699, which is 24.7% 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.

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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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