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COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota up slightly, deaths and hospitalizations increase statewide

More than 430 people are hospitalized in Minnesota with COVID-19, an increase of about 80 from a week ago, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The number of deaths has increased in recent weeks, too.

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota rose slightly, to 407 new cases, in the second week of September.
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WILLMAR — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota rose slightly, to 407 new cases, in the second week of September, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

One death related to COVID-19, a person from Chippewa County, was reported in the area from Sept. 11 to Sept. 17.

The area reported about 20 more cases than the week before. A majority were reported in a few counties. Stearns County reported 224 cases, Kandiyohi County reported 51, Redwood County 23 and Meeker County 21.

The remaining seven counties tracked by the West Central Tribune posted a combined 88 cases.

The state's report of new lab-confirmed cases does not include all cases, as at-home test results are not included.


In west central Minnesota, 22 people from area counties were hospitalized — 16 people from Stearns, three from Renville, and one each from Chippewa, Pope and Redwood counties.

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.

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

The state’s current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now at 13,251, an increase of 52 since last week's report. The number of deaths each week has increased in the past month.

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 the week of Sept. 11 to Sept. 17 in area counties:

  • Big Stone, 12
  • Chippewa, 13
  • Kandiyohi, 51
  • Lac qui Parle, 2
  • Meeker, 23
  • Pope, 18
  • Redwood, 28
  • Renville, 21
  • Stearns, 224
  • Swift, 4
  • Yellow Medicine, 11

The state's cumulative number of cases is now listed at 1,658,677, including reinfections. That's 6,678 more new cases reported 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 reported 432 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sept. 20. That included 388 people hospitalized in medical units and another 44 in intensive care units.


The number of people hospitalized has risen by 80 in the past week.

The state also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Sept. 21, 3,986,296 Minnesotans have received at least one dose and 3,758,187 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 1,875,058.

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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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