WILLMAR — The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases in the region rose again this week, according to state Health Department reports issued each weekday. This week there were a total of 1,993 new cases in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune, and 12 newly reported deaths, though death reports can be delayed by weeks or even months.

Last week there were nearly 1,700 new cases in those 11 counties.

Vaccination rates rose slightly in area counties, but most percentages remain in the low 60s.

The 12 deaths included in the last week of state reports include seven in Stearns County: one in the 45-49 age range, two in the 70-74 range, two in the 80-84 range, one in the 85-89 range, and one in the 90-94 range. Two deaths were reported in Meeker County, one in the 70-74 range and one in the 75-80 range. The other two deaths were a person age 65-69 in Chippewa County, a person age 70-74 in Kandiyohi County and a person age 70-74 in Swift County.

Total new cases in the past week in area counties include: Big Stone, 28; Chippewa 57; Kandiyohi, 287; Lac qui Parle, 36; Meeker, 158; Pope, 95; Redwood, 94; Renville, 69; Stearns, 1,013; Swift, 75; Yellow Medicine, 81.

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In the situation update from the Minnesota Department of Health, the state on Friday reported 30 newly reported deaths and 5,162 new 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.

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The state's cumulative number of cases is 871,203, which includes 861,717 total people testing positive and 9,486 reinfections. The state has started reporting 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 9,155, which includes 159 more deaths than a week ago. More than half of the deaths, 4,873, 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 340 people with COVID-19 were in ICUs across the state as of Thursday, and 1,074 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized but not in an ICU.

The state is now reporting hospital capacity split among pediatric and adult beds. All eight pediatric ICUs are reporting, according to figures available Friday afternoon, and three of them have zero beds. All 36 pediatric non-ICUs are reporting and 19 of those have zero beds.

Among 87 adult ICUs, the state showed 78% of them reporting and 56 have zero beds. All 130 adult non-ICUs were reporting, and 51 have 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:

The state is also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,522,489 Minnesotans have received one dose and 3,335,953 have completed the vaccine series statewide.

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

  • Big Stone: 67.7%

  • Chippewa: 64.1%

  • Kandiyohi: 62.3%

  • Lac qui Parle: 66.5%

  • Meeker: 55.4%

  • Pope: 62.4%

  • Redwood: 61.3%

  • Renville: 60.6%

  • Stearns: 59.7%

  • Swift: 62.9%

  • Yellow Medicine: 60.2%

Vaccines were only recently authorized for children age 5 to 11, and first doses in that age range total roughly 72,000 statewide.

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.

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