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New cases still up, hospitalizations down in Olmsted County

The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases appears to be slowing but is still higher than last month, county health officials say.

This image shows a microscopic view of the COVID-19 virus. (Courtesy photo)
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New COVID-19 cases continue to skew younger in Olmsted County while serious cases decline, health officials said Thursday.

Of the newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus the past two weeks, people ages 20-29 make up about 44% of the diagnoses, said Kari Etrheim, Olmsted County Public Health communications coordinator.

There are 123 active cases of COVID-19 in Olmsted County, according to health department reports Thursday.

That correlates with an overall rise in cases but a decline in hospitalizations in Olmsted County since the beginning of the month. After dropping to 10.5 confirmed cases per day countywide at the end of June, cases of COVID-19 began to rise in early July.

An average of 15.6 new cases have been confirmed per day over the past week, Etrheim said. That’s down from last week, when 24 confirmed cases per day were reported over the previous seven days.


“This is promising,” Etrheim said, adding it was too early to tell if it would be a lasting trend.

A city mandate requiring people in indoor public spaces to wear masks, followed by a statewide requirement that goes into effect Saturday, could help slow the spread, she added.

This trend is similar to statewide trends, in which incidents of COVID-19 have increased and skewed to younger ages, while hospitalizations have remained relatively low and steady this month. As of Thursday, 282 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 across Minnesota, which is down from a peak of more than 600 hospitalizations in May, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Overall, 1,466 cases have been reported in Olmsted County since the first cases were confirmed in March, with 21 people having died due to the illness. Half of those fatal cases have been among people ages 90 or older, according to county health department reports.

Of them, 110 — about 8% — have ever needed hospitalization, while 30 people — 2.2% of cases — required intensive care treatment. As of Thursday, 1,322 people in the county have recovered and no longer need to be isolated.

Positive Cases by County

Minnesota Positive Cases

Graph of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by specimen collection date, data in table below.

Minnesota Deaths

Deaths of confirmed cases in Minnesota, data in table below

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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