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More than 550 new COVID-19 cases, one death reported in west central Minnesota this week

COVID-19 test results reported to the state in the past week surpassed 11,000 new cases. Nearly 50 deaths were reported, too. In west central Minnesota, one death and nearly 560 cases were reported.

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WILLMAR — One death related to COVID-19 and 558 new cases were reported in the area in the past week, according to updates from the Minnesota Department of Health.

This is the fourth week with new cases in the mid-500s. Stearns County reported the most new cases, 309. It is the county with the largest population among the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune. Other counties with higher cases in the past week were Kandiyohi at 60 and Pope County at 55.

One area death was reported this week, a person in the 85-89 age category in Stearns County.

Case numbers reported in Health Department updates are preliminary and reflect positive test results reported to the state. At-home test results are not included.

The state's average positive test rate 12.8%, according to information from the Mayo Clinic website . The rate grew from 4% on April 10 to 12% on May 11 and has been higher than 12% since then.


In the situation update from the Minnesota Department of Health , the state reported 12 newly reported deaths and 2,028 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 daily average of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota jumped from a 378-case daily average to 760 cases a day in one week. Deaths have also increased to a daily average of 11 deaths a day.

The state's cumulative number of cases is now 1,527,145, which includes 1,451,355 total people testing positive and 75,790 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 12,713, which includes 49 more deaths than a week ago. Of that total, 5,808 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 34 people with COVID-19 were in ICUs across the state as of Thursday, and 375 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized but not in an ICU.

The state also reports the hospital capacity of adult and pediatric beds. Of the state's eight pediatric ICU units, two reported having zero staffed beds available. Of the 36 with non-ICU pediatric units, 20 hospitals, 56%, said they had zero staffed non-ICU pediatric beds available.

Of 68 adult ICUs, 26 of them, 38%, said they had zero staffed beds available. Of 130 non-ICU hospitals, 37 hospitals, 28%, 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:

More by Linda Vanderwerf

The state also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,920,013 Minnesotans have received at least one dose and 3,715,943 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 2,435,862.


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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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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