All area counties but one recorded a decrease in their 14-day COVID-19 case rate in Thursday’s weekly report from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Vaccination rates in most area counties indicate that 50% or more of the population 12 and older have had at least one shot. Only three of the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune have vaccination percentages less than 50% — Kandiyohi, Meeker and Stearns.

The 14-day case rate is one factor school districts used during the school year to choose a learning model. The weekly report also shows case rate trends over the past six weeks. The case rate report is released at 11 a.m. each Thursday.

All area counties have case rates of less than 30 per 10,000 residents. Chippewa County reported a 5-point increase in its case rate, which is still in the teens.

Statewide, only nine counties have 14-day case rates of 30 or more, and just one of those has a rate of 50 or more. Five weeks ago, 71 of the state's 87 counties had case rates of 30 or more

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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 9 to May 22 and how it changed from a week ago:

The state separately reports vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 2,942,626 people have received at least one dose and 2,622,590 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: 64%

  • Chippewa: 56%

  • Kandiyohi: 49%

  • Lac qui Parle: 55%

  • Meeker: 45%

  • Pope: 54%

  • Redwood: 50%

  • Renville: 53%

  • Stearns: 48%

  • Swift: 55%

  • Yellow Medicine: 51%

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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