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Area reports 149 COVID-19 cases and one death in past week; cases are higher but far below previous peaks

Minnesota reported 877 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths on Friday. In the past week, the deaths of 24 people were added to the state total of more than 12,000 deaths. More than 1.37 million people have been found to be infected with the coronavirus.

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One death attributed to COVID-19 and 149 newly confirmed cases were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health in west central Minnesota in the past week.
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WILLMAR — One death attributed to COVID-19 and 149 newly confirmed cases were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health in west central Minnesota in the past week.

The number of cases reported in the past week is higher than in recent weeks, but still far below the cases reported in January and February.

Lac qui Parle County reported the death of one person in the 60-64 age category.

Of the 149 cases reported, 88 were reported by Stearns County, the largest of the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. Redwood County recorded 18 cases, and all other counties had case numbers in the single digits.

All counties — except Meeker, Stearns and Redwood counties — had at least one day without a case reported.

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Lac qui Parle County had six days without a case reported.

In the situation update from the Minnesota Department of Health , the state reported seven deaths and 877 newly confirmed cases Friday. The report is released five days a week at 11 a.m., and includes cases reported as of 4 a.m. the previous business day. All numbers are preliminary and do not include at-home tests, which are not counted by the state.

More coronavirus coverage:
In the past week, the total of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota has hovered around a total of 400. The most recent report lists 41 people in ICUs and 360 hospitalized but not in an ICU.

The state's cumulative number of cases is now 1,437,638, which includes 1,373,811 total people testing positive and 63,827 reinfections. The state reports the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 again more than 90 days after an initial lab-confirmed positive test.

The state’s current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now at 12,464, which includes 24 more deaths than a week ago. Of that total, 5,698 deaths, 45.7%, have occurred in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

In a report of its response capacity to the pandemic, the Health Department reported that 25 people with COVID-19 were in ICUs across the state as of Thursday, and 180 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized but not in an ICU. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has changed little since

The state also reports the hospital capacity of adult and pediatric beds. Of the state's eight pediatric ICU units, three reported having zero staffed beds available. Of the 36 with non-ICU pediatric units reporting, 17 hospitals, 47%, said they had zero staffed non-ICU pediatric beds available.

Of 68 adult ICUs reporting, 27 of them, 40%, said they had zero staffed beds available. Of 130 non-ICU hospitals reporting, 38 hospitals, 29%, said they had staffed zero beds.

Since the start of the pandemic, the number of COVID-19 cases among residents confirmed to reside in area counties and the number of deaths includes:

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The state is also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,902,632 Minnesotans have received one dose and 3,694,229 have completed the vaccine series statewide. The number of people listed as being up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had booster shots, is 2,555,893.

The vaccine data web page is updated at 11 a.m. weekdays, but there is a delay between a vaccine being given and when it is reported to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The state releases an updated list of school buildings that have reported five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week reporting period. No area school districts are on the list this week.

School buildings on the list may not have ongoing transmission. If they have not reported a new case for 28 days, they are removed from the list. If five or more cases are reported again in the future, they will be placed on the list again.

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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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