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State update: COVID-19 case numbers rise, hospitalization numbers stable in west central Minnesota

An average of 640 people are confirmed to have COVID-19 each day in Minnesota, and an average of 10 people die each day with COVID-19. Those numbers do not include people who use home tests.

coronavirus art graphic
coronavirus art graphic<br/>

WILLMAR — COVID-19 cases confirmed in west central Minnesota increased more than 80 cases in a week, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

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

From Jan. 29 through Feb. 4, 446 new cases were reported.

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

In west central Minnesota, 20 people from area counties were hospitalized — 10 from Stearns, five from Kandiyohi; three from Pope and two from Renville.


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 14,278, an increase of 71 from last week's report and an average of 10 deaths per day.

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,761,893, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 4,494, an average of 642 new cases each day. The increase was 187 more 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 weeks: Big Stone, 4; Chippewa, 17; Kandiyohi, 81; Lac qui Parle, 4; Meeker, 22; Pope, 43; Redwood, 11; Renville, 22; Stearns, 212; Swift, 12; Yellow Medicine, 18.

The state reported 373 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Feb. 7. That includes 339 people hospitalized in medical units, 30 fewer than the week before, and another 34 in intensive care units, two more than the week before.

Hospitalizations had a seven-day average of 30 in ICUs and 332 in medical units. The daily average is lower for ICUs and for medical units.


As of Feb. 7, 4,009,510 Minnesotans, 72.1%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 68% of the state's population, 3,784,652 people, 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 1,336,237, which is 24% 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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