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New west central Minnesota cases down slightly in latest state COVID-19 report, deaths increased

Minnesota now has an average of 800-plus new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths related to the coronavirus reported each day, according to the Minnesota Department of Health weekly update.

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West central Minnesota counties reported 362 new cases of COVID-19, about 30 fewer cases that were reported last week.
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WILLMAR — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases fell in the area in the most recent weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

West central Minnesota counties reported 362 new cases of COVID-19, about 30 fewer cases that were reported last week. The latest state report covers information received from Dec. 4 through Dec. 10

Two deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune — one person from Pope County and one person from Swift County.

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

In west central Minnesota, 23 people from area counties were hospitalized — 15 from Stearns County, seven from Kandiyohi County and one from Redwood County.

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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 13,834, an increase of 61 from last week's report and an average of almost nine deaths per day.

More coronavirus coverage:
The daily average of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota jumped from a 378-case daily average to 760 cases a day in one week. Deaths have also increased to a daily average of 11 deaths a day.

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,725,293, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 5,744, an average of more than 800 new cases each day. The increase was smaller than in the previous report. The omicron variant of the coronavirus accounted for 100% of reported cases last week and all cases since May.

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 and the case rate per 100,000 people in each county are as follows:

  • Big Stone: 15 cases, 300.2 case rate
  • Chippewa: 25 cases, 209.2 case rate
  • Kandiyohi: 56 cases, 130.7 case rate
  • Lac qui Parle: 14 cases, 208.4 case rate
  • Meeker: 20 cases, 86.6 case rate
  • Pope: 14 cases, 126.7 case rate
  • Redwood: 12 cases, 78.6 case rate
  • Renville: 6 cases, 41 case rate
  • Stearns: 178 cases, 112.3 case rate
  • Swift: 11 cases, 117.5 case rate
  • Yellow Medicine: 11 cases, 112.1 case rate

The state reported 577 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Dec. 13. That includes 522 people hospitalized in medical units, 25 fewer than the week before, and another 55 in intensive care units, 14 fewer than the week before.
Hospitalizations had a seven-day average of 46 in ICUs and 536 in medical units. The daily average is lower for ICUs but higher for medical units.

As of Dec. 13, 4,004,614 Minnesotans, 72%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 67.9% of the state's population, 3,778,063, 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 1,168,633, which is 21% of Minnesotans. For age 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.

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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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