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COVID-19 case numbers fall in west central Minnesota, two deaths reported in area

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in west central Minnesota dropped in the past week, but the state saw nearly 10,000 new cases again. Thirty new deaths were added to the state's pandemic total in the past week. The total deaths in Minnesota attributed to the coronavirus passed 13,000 a few weeks ago.

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coronavirus art graphic<br/>
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WILLMAR — Nearly 100 fewer cases of COVID-19 were reported in the area last week. Two area deaths were reported, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Stearns County reported 326 confirmed cases, more than half of the 606 new cases in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. An additional 67 cases were reported in Kandiyohi County, and Meeker County added another 48.

The remaining eight counties accounted for a total of 165 cases.

In June 2022, the department began providing a weekly update, replacing the daily updates that began in spring 2020.

The updates are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. and include data received as of 4 a.m. the preceding Tuesday. When the report refers to numbers from last week, it refers to information gathered from Sunday through Saturday the week before the information is released.

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In all cases, the numbers in the updates are preliminary and may change as more information is received.

The state's figures are an undercount of Minnesota's total cases because at-home test results are not reported to the state.

Between Aug. 7 and Aug. 13, two deaths were reported in the area, one in Meeker County and one in Stearns County.

The state’s current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now at 13,044, an increase of 30 from last week's report.

More coronavirus coverage:
Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months and older; COVID-19 boosters shots are available for people 12 and older.

New cases reported the week of Aug. 7 to Aug. 13 in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune:

  • Big Stone, 11
  • Chippewa, 31
  • Kandiyohi, 67
  • Lac qui Parle, 13
  • Meeker, 48
  • Pope, 25
  • Redwood, 26
  • Renville, 32
  • Stearns, 326
  • Swift, 16
  • Yellow Medicine, 11

The state's cumulative number of cases is now listed at 1,621,194, including reinfections. That's about 9,950 more new cases in the last week.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 again more than 90 days after an initial lab-confirmed positive test are considered to have a reinfection.

The state also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Aug. 16, 3,971,507 Minnesotans have received one dose and 3,746,930 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 1,772,094.

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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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