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Three west central Minnesota counties are among 18 statewide with 14-day COVID case rates above 100

The state Department of Health releases a 14-day case rate for the state's counties. The report can be used by school districts along with other factors in deciding the type of instruction model they use. The higher the number, the greater risk of COVID-19 spreading in a community.


There are 18 counties in the state, including three area counties, that have 14-day COVID-19 case rates above 100 in Thursday’s report from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Big Stone, Kandiyohi and Stearns counties have rates of 123.6, 107.83 and 115.67 respectively.

The case rate measures the county’s number of newly confirmed cases over a two-week period per 10,000 residents. The state divides the number of new cases by the number found by dividing a county’s population by 10,000.

The state considers a 14-day case rate of 10 or higher to represent an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community, especially when the level is sustained or increases over time.

In the region, the next highest case rate is 97.42 in Chippewa County, which is a decrease from the rate reported last week, the only area county to see a decrease in the 14-day rate reported Thursday.


The state on Thursday also updated a list of school buildings where five or more confirmed cases have been reported to have been in the building while infectious in the past two weeks. Schools in the area include MACCRAY Senior High School in Clara City, Willmar Senior High School, Eden Valley Secondary School, Minnewaska Secondary in Glenwood and Redwood Valley Middle School in Redwood Falls. School buildings that have not reported a new case for 28 days are removed from the list.

School districts use the 14-day case rates along with information from public health officials and other sources to help determine how to operate their schools during the pandemic. The state releases the report every Thursday.

This list includes the current case rate for area counties from Oct. 18 to Oct. 31 and how it changed from a week ago:

  • Big Stone County: 123.60, up
  • Chippewa County: 97.42, down
  • Kandiyohi County: 107.83, up
  • Lac qui Parle County: 50.20, up
  • Meeker County: 50.26, up
  • Pope County: 46.45, up
  • Redwood County: 66.53, up
  • Renville County: 61.82, up
  • Stearns County: 115.67, up
  • Swift County: 74.38, up
  • Yellow Medicine County: 84.11, up

The state’s recommended school options for operating schools:

  • Case rate of 0 to less than 10: In-person learning for all students

  • Case rate of 10 to less than 20: Elementary in-person, middle/high school hybrid

  • Case rate of 20 to less than 30: Both hybrid

  • Case rate of 30 to less than 50: Elementary hybrid, middle/high school distance

  • Case rate of 50 or more: Both distance.

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