Renville County COVID-19 case rate remains a concern

Renville County's case rate has consistently stayed higher than that of neighboring counties. It is seeing an increase in teenagers testing positive as well as adults in their 30s and 40s, or very likely the parents of the infected youth.

Renville County is "in step" with the state with 9.2 percent of its population having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo

OLIVIA — Renville County continues to see a higher than desired case rate for COVID-19, and in the last two weeks has seen teenagers and likely their parents as the largest share of those infected.

Jill Bruns, public health director, told the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the county’s case rate is now at 35.59 per 10,000. The county’s case rate has consistently been higher than that in many neighboring counties. She pointed out that the case rate in Yellow Medicine County was at 6 per 10,000 while Renville County has steadily held in the double digits of 20s to 30s per 10,000.

The public health director said she cannot say with certainty why the county’s rate is higher, but suspects it has to do with how many individuals are not practicing COVID-19 protocols.

“It has to be our behavior, our masking and social distancing, and what we are doing in our homes and communities,” she said.

The county had 52 active cases of COVID-19 at the time she spoke to the board. In the past two weeks those reported positive have included 19 teenagers and 13 persons in the 30-40 age group. They are likely the parents of the infected youth, she said.


Renville County, according to state-reported figures posted online Wednesday, has now counted 1,553 COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths since the first case was reported in the county on March 14.

On the positive side, Bruns said Renville County has now vaccinated 24.5 percent of its population and 71 percent of those age 65 and older.

The public health staff will be administering vaccines on site this week to workers at the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, Highway 212 Meats and Ultimate Medical.

Bruns said she is encouraged to learn about people who have been vaccinated and potentially exposed to the virus but not becoming ill from it.

She added that the state is expecting to increase the number of vaccine doses being made available from around 125,000 each week to around 300,000.

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