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New COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota were lower in most recent state update

The most recent state update indicates that Minnesota continues to report more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 each week. That does not include information about home tests. Nearly 60 people died of the disease during the week covered by the latest report, an increase over the week before.

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related death decreased in late October and early November, with 348 new cases and two deaths reported in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related death decreased in late October and early November, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

In the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune, 348 new cases and two deaths were reported. The highest totals were 189 new cases in Stearns County and 33 new cases in Meeker County.

Two deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in Stearns County.

The report released Thursday covers COVID-19 activity from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5.

The state's report of new cases is an undercount, because at-home test results are not included.


In west central Minnesota, 21 people from area counties were hospitalized — 17 from Stearns County, two from Kandiyohi County and one each from Redwood and Meeker counties.

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

The state’s current total of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is 13,559, an increase of 58 from last week's report.

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, 20
  • Chippewa, 5
  • Kandiyohi, 27
  • Lac qui Parle, 5
  • Meeker, 33
  • Pope, 19
  • Redwood, 17
  • Renville, 7
  • Stearns, 189
  • Swift, 11
  • Yellow Medicine, 15

The state's cumulative number of cases is now 1,696,286, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 5,200.
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 480 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Nov. 8. That includes 419 people hospitalized in medical units and another 61 in intensive care units. The total number of people in hospitals is roughly the same as in the previous week, but the number in ICUs is higher.

As of Nov. 8, 3,996,684 Minnesotans, 71.8%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 3,758,073 of the state's population, 67.6%, have completed the vaccine series statewide.

The number of people listed as up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had recommended booster shots, is 841,235, which is 15.1% of the state's population.


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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