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COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota slightly higher in weekly state update, hospitalization up statewide

COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by more than 50 people in the most recent Minnesota Department of Health weekly update. The state had a daily average of about 750 new confirmed cases and seven deaths in the latest update.

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In the week from from Nov. 20 through Nov. 26, 349 new cases, up 12 from a week ago, and two deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota has increased slightly, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health .

In the week from from Nov. 20 through Nov. 26, 349 new cases, up 12 from a week ago, and two deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. The state's report of new cases is an undercount, because at-home test results are not included.

Pope County and Stearns County each reported the death of one person.

In west central Minnesota, 19 people from area counties were hospitalized, seven more than in the state update released a week ago. Stearns County reported seven hospitalizations, and Redwood County reported four. Kandiyohi, Meeker, Pope and Renville counties each reported that two of their residents were hospitalized.

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

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The total deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Minnesota is now 13,716, an increase of 53 from last week's report. That's an average of more than seven deaths per day.

More coronavirus coverage:
COVID-19 cases and deaths increased more slowly in the most recent Minnesota Health Department update. An average of 600 people test positive — and six die — each day in Minnesota.

New cases reported last week:

  • Big Stone, 6
  • Chippewa, 9
  • Kandiyohi, 34
  • Lac qui Parle, 12
  • Meeker, 17
  • Pope, 18
  • Redwood, 22
  • Renville, 10
  • Stearns, 198
  • Swift, 8
  • Yellow Medicine, 15

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,713,190, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 5,222, an average of nearly 750 new cases a day.
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 reported 573 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Nov. 29. That includes 521 people hospitalized in medical units, 39 more than the week before, and another 52 in intensive care units, 13 more than the week before.

As of Dec. 1, 4,001,0915 Minnesotans, 71.9%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 67.6% of the state's population, 3,762,272 people, have completed the vaccine series.

The number of people listed as being up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had booster shots, is 1,051,340, which is 18.9% of Minnesotans. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, children age 6 months through 4 years are up to date if they have completed a primary vaccine series. For people age 5 and older, they are up to date if they have completed the primary series and had a bivalent booster dose when due.

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 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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