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West central Minnesota sees small decrease in cases, fewer deaths in most recent COVID-19 state update

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase by about 5,000 a week. Hospitalizations increased slightly in the past week, but the number of people in ICUs declined. Fifty-one people died because of COVID-19, while nearly 86,000 people got their booster vaccines.

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coronavirus art graphic<br/>
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WILLMAR — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases declined slightly in the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune reported 334 new cases of COVID 19 in the week of Nov. 6 through Nov. 12. Three deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in Stearns County.

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

In west central Minnesota, 14 people from area counties were hospitalized: 11 from Stearns County, and one each from Kandiyohi, Redwood and Renville counties.

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

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The state’s current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now 13,610, an increase of 51 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 in the region:

  • Big Stone, 7
  • Chippewa, 6
  • Kandiyohi, 36
  • Lac qui Parle, 3
  • Meeker, 20
  • Pope, 19
  • Redwood, 13
  • Renville, 8
  • Stearns, 206
  • Swift, 5
  • Yellow Medicine, 11

The state's cumulative number of cases is 1,701,401, including reinfections. New cases in the past week totaled 5,115.
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 490 people hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Nov. 15. That includes 50 in intensive care units, 11 fewer than the week before, and another 440 people hospitalized in medical units, 21 more than the week before. The seven-day averages are 54 for ICUs and 419 for medical units.

As of Nov. 17, 3,998,595 Minnesotans, 71.9%, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 3,759,598 people, 67.6% of the state's population, have completed the vaccine series.

The number of people listed as being up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had booster shots, is 927,147, which is 16.7% of Minnesotans.

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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