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New COVID-19 cases remain about 500 a week in west central Minnesota

More than 9,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Minnesota in the past week, and the deaths of 36 people were attributed to COVID-19. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have been near 400 for the past several weeks.

coronavirus art graphic
coronavirus art graphic<br/>
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WILLMAR — The number of new COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota this week was nearly the same as the week before.

In the area, 499 new cases were reported in the past week. The week before it was 506.

More than half of the new cases this week, 281, were reported in Stearns County, the largest among the 11 counties followed by the West Central Tribune. The second-largest county, Kandiyohi, reported 44 new cases.

The death of a person in the 45-49 age category was reported in Stearns County, and the death of a person aged 90-94 was reported in Renville 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.

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In the situation update from the Minnesota Department of Health , the state reported five newly reported deaths and 1,708 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.

More coronavirus coverage:
Statewide, about 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Minnesota Department of Health last week. The state's death toll from the pandemic surpassed 13,000 in the past week. The number of cases is probably much higher, because cases identified by a positive home test are not reported to the state.

The state's cumulative number of cases is now 1,546,698, which includes 1,467,858 total people testing positive and 78,840 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 12,780, which includes 36 more deaths than a week ago. Of that total, 5,845 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 33 people with COVID-19 were in ICUs across the state as of Thursday, and 360 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized but not in an ICU. The number of hospitalizations has hovered around 400 for several weeks.

The state also reports the hospital capacity of adult and pediatric beds. Of the state's eight pediatric ICU units, three reported having zero staffed beds available. Of 36 non-ICU pediatric units, 19 hospitals, 53%, said they had zero staffed non-ICU pediatric beds available.

Of 68 adult ICUs , 30 of them, 44%, said they had zero staffed beds available. Of 130 non-ICU hospitals , 38 hospitals, 29%, 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:

The state also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,924,484 Minnesotans have received at least one dose and 3,730,471 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 1,690,958.

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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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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.