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POPE COUNTY

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COVID-19 cases in west central Minnesota counties held steady in the last week, according to the weekly situation update released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.
A two-vehicle crash reported on Nov. 18 resulted in the death of 52-year-old Melanee McKale, of Starbuck, according to a news release from the Pope County Sheriff's Office. The other driver, 44-year-old Denis Zinke, of Sauk Centre, was transported to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
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.
The most recent state update indicates that Minnesota continues to report more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 each week. That does not include information about home tests. Nearly 60 people died of the disease during the week covered by the latest report, an increase over the week before.
More than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across Minnesota in the fourth week of October, and four dozen deaths were reported. Hospitalization numbers were down overall, but the number of people in ICUs increased.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in west central Minnesota grew by nearly 100 in the third week of October. Hospitalizations doubled, from 11 the week prior to 23 last week.

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The total number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 dropped in the first week of October, but the state still reported more than 5,000 new cases in the state, not counting positive home tests. The number of people in the state hospitalized with COVID-19 has been more than 400 per day over the last week.
COVID-19 confirmed cases continue to increase by 850+ a day in Minnesota, and hospitalizations rose in the past week. Nearly 70% of the state has completed the initial vaccine series, but only 6% of Minnesotans have had their recommended boosters and are considered up to date with their vaccinations.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Monday announced the appointment of Benjamin Wilcox, of Benson, to serve as an Eighth Judicial District Court judge. Wilcox is city attorney for Benson and Kerkhoven, and a partner at Wilcox Law Office, P.A.

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