Kandiyohi, Chippewa, and Stearns counties saw their 14-day COVID-19 case rate rise in Thursday’s report from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Kandiyohi County saw a significant jump in the rate from 38.21 during the period Sept. 13 to 26 to 56.03 in the latest period, Sept. 20 to Oct. 3. Chippewa County saw its rate rise from 49.13 to 51.62 during the reporting periods. Stearns saw a modest increase from 35.52 to 35.58.

School districts use the case rates along with information from public health officials and other sources to help determine how to operate their schools during the pandemic. The state releases the report every Thursday.

While other counties saw a decrease in the case rate, both Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties remain above 50.

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.

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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 Sept. 20 to Oct. 3 and how it changed from a week ago:

  • Big Stone County: 45.85, down
  • Chippewa County: 51.62, up
  • Kandiyohi County: 56.03, up
  • Lac qui Parle County: 54.63, down
  • Meeker County: 22.53, down
  • Pope County: 18.21, down
  • Redwood County: 35.88, down
  • Renville County: 29.21, down
  • Stearns County: 35.58, up
  • Swift County: 36.16, down
  • Yellow Medicine County: 55.74, down

The state’s recommended school options for operating schools:

  • Case rate of 0 to less than 10: In-person learning for all students

  • Case rate of 10 to less than 20: Elementary in-person, middle/high school hybrid

  • Case rate of 20 to less than 30: Both hybrid

  • Case rate of 30 to less than 50: Elementary hybrid, middle/high school distance

  • Case rate of 50 or more: Both distance.

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