Case rates in west central Minnesota, around the state at lowest level in the past year

Counties in west central Minnesota have reported falling 14-day case rates for weeks, and they are now at the lowest level in a year. All but one of the counties tracked by the West Central Tribune have case rates of 5 or lower. Kandiyohi County's levels are also at a low level, but they are in the low double digits.

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Minnesota Health Department PSA graphic

All area counties but two now have 14-day COVID-19 case rates of fewer than 5 cases per 10,000 residents. In Thursday’s weekly report from the Minnesota Department of Health , all but four counties in the state had case rates of less than 10.

Vaccination rates in most area counties indicate that 51% or more of the population 12 and older have had at least one shot. Meeker County reports vaccination of 46% of the population 12 and older.

Kandiyohi County is the only area county with a case rate of 10 or higher, at 11.49, the third-highest rate in the state. That is a decrease from last week's report.

Among the state's 87 counties, Koochiching is the only one with a case rate above 20, at 20.56. Lake County at 10.41 and Wadena County at 16.85 are the others with case rates above 10.

Two area counties, Big Stone and Lac qui Parle, reported case rates of 0.00.


Several months ago, a majority of the state's counties reported case rates of 30 or higher.

The weekly report shows case rate trends over the past six weeks. During the school year, the case rate is one factor school districts consider in choosing a learning model. The case rate report is released at 11 a.m. each Thursday.


The case rate measures the county’s number of newly confirmed cases over a two-week period per 10,000 residents. The state divides the number of new cases by the number found by dividing a county’s population by 10,000.

The state considers a 14-day case rate of 10 or higher to represent an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community, especially when the level is sustained or increases over time.

This list includes the current case rate for area counties from May 30 to June 12 and how it changed from a week ago:

The state separately reports vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,040,505 people have received at least one dose and 2,847,971 have completed the vaccine series statewide.

According to the figures available Friday, the percentage of residents age 12 and over who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in area counties includes:


  • Big Stone: 65%

  • Chippewa: 57%

  • Kandiyohi: 51%

  • Lac qui Parle: 56%

  • Meeker: 46%

  • Pope: 55%

  • Redwood: 51%

  • Renville: 55%

  • Stearns: 51%

  • Swift: 57%

  • Yellow Medicine: 52%

The vaccine data web page is updated at 11 a.m. daily, but it can take up to 48 hours for data to be reported to the state and processed.
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Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo

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: or phone 320-214-4340
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