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West central Minnesota COVID-19 cases drop below 100 for the week

The total of newly reported COVID-19 cases in 11 west central Minnesota counties fell below 100 this week, and only two deaths were reported. Only two of the 11 counties reported new cases in each of the five days of state reports.

coronavirus art graphic
coronavirus art graphic<br/>
Pixabay

WILLMAR — The number of COVID-19 cases and the deaths attributed to the disease in the past week continued the downward trend experienced recently.

There were just 91 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the past week in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune, according to figures in the daily situation update issued by the Minnesota Department of Health, down from a tally of more than 200 a week ago.

Weekly totals topped 1,000 a month ago, and topped 3,000 two months ago.

The state report is released five days a week at 11 a.m. and includes cases reported as of 4 a.m. the previous business day. The reports are not necessarily a one-day sample, but several area counties reported zero cases over multiple days of the Monday through Friday reports. Only Stearns and Renville counties had at least one case reported in each of the five days of reports.

Lac qui Parle and Swift counties had only one case the whole week; Big Stone and Meeker counties had two total for the week; and Chippewa, Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties had only three cases. Only Stearns County had double-digit cases on any single day's report.

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There were two newly reported deaths in the past week. In Kandiyohi County, one person age 60-64 died, and in Stearns County one person age 55-59 died. The date of the report can sometimes significantly lag the date of the death.

In the situation update from the Minnesota Department of Health , the state reported 9 newly reported deaths and 538 new cases Friday.

More coronavirus coverage:
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 1,424,613, which includes 1,362,226 total people testing positive and 62,387 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 12,321, which includes 57 more deaths than a week ago. Of that total, 5,642 deaths, 46%, 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 40 people with COVID-19 were in ICUs across the state as of Thursday, and 244 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 beds available. Of the 36 non-ICU pediatric units reporting, 17 hospitals, 47%, said they had zero non-ICU pediatric beds available.

Of 68 adult ICUs reporting, 30 of them, 44%, said they had zero beds available. There were 99 percent reporting of 130 non-ICU hospitals, and 42 of those said they had 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:

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The state is also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Friday's report, 3,888,220 Minnesotans have received at least one dose and 3,675,511 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 2,545,926.

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.

The state releases an updated list of school buildings that have reported five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week reporting period.

Area school buildings on the list as of March 5 are: Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Elementary School, Atwater; Kennedy Elementary School, Willmar; Roosevelt Elementary School, Willmar; Willmar Middle School; Willmar Senior High School; Lac qui Parle Valley Secondary School, Madison; Eden Valley Secondary School, Eden Valley; Litchfield Middle School; Litchfield Senior High School; Minnewaska Area Intermediate School, Glenwood; Redwood Valley Middle School, Redwood Falls; Redwood Valley Senior High, Redwood Falls; Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Elementary, Buffalo Lake; Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Secondary, Hector; Benson Secondary School, Benson; Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Elementary School, Murdock; Bert Raney Elementary School, Granite Falls; and Yellow Medicine East High School, Granite Falls.

School buildings listed may not have ongoing transmission. If they have not reported a new case for 28 days, they are removed from the list. If five or more cases are reported again in the future, they will be placed on the list again.

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Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSCOVID-19 VACCINE
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.
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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.