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West central Minnesota saw more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 last week, one death

The state reported more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 last week and 34 deaths. Both those numbers fell slightly from the week before, as did hospitalizations. However, hospitalizations were more than 400 a day and have been for most of the past five months.

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One death attributed to COVID-19 and more than 400 confirmed new cases were reported in west central Minnesota in the past week.
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WILLMAR — One death attributed to COVID-19 and more than 400 confirmed new cases were reported in west central Minnesota in the past week, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The death was reported in Stearns County in the week between Sept. 18 and Sept. 24.

Most of the 411 new cases were reported in the two most populous counties in the area — 204 cases in Stearns and 90 in Kandiyohi. About the same number of new cases were reported in the last weekly update.

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

The latest update lists 15 people from area counties were hospitalized with COVID-19, including nine in Stearns, two in Swift and one each in Big Stone, Chippewa, Redwood and Renville counties.

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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.

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

The state’s current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now at 13,285, an increase of 34 from last week's report.

More coronavirus coverage:
COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by more than 50 people in the most recent Minnesota Department of Health weekly update. The state had a daily average of about 750 new confirmed cases and seven deaths in the latest update.

New cases reported last week in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune:

  • Big Stone, 5
  • Chippewa, 20
  • Kandiyohi, 90
  • Lac qui Parle, 6
  • Meeker, 26
  • Pope, 12
  • Redwood, 22
  • Renville, 17
  • Stearns, 204
  • Swift, 6
  • Yellow Medicine, 8

The state's cumulative number of cases is now listed at 1,664,797, including reinfections. That's about 6,100 more new cases in the last week.
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 411 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Sept. 27. That includes 370 people hospitalized in medical units and another 41 in intensive care units.

The number of people hospitalized fell by about 20 in the past week.

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The state also reports vaccine administration numbers each week. Last week, 3,983,060 Minnesotans have received one dose and 3,756,371 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 239,059. That number is much lower than the number reported a week ago, as a new booster that targets the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is now available.

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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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