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Majority of Southeast Minnesota counties see COVID case rates drop amid continued high transmission status

CDC reports 19 Minnesota counties are now areas of high transmission

MN covid map 051922.JPG
A May 19, 2022, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map shows counties considered areas of high community transmission of COVID in orange and areas of medium transmission in yellow.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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ROCHESTER — One Southeast Minnesota county saw its COVID-transmission status lowered this week as the total number of counties in the federally defined “high” status more than doubled.

Houston County reported a nearly 32% drop in its case rate, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 32 confirmed cases on a seven-day period, which is equal to 172 per 100,000 residents.

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It puts the county in the “medium” transmission status, while maintaining the reported equivalent of slightly more than 10 COVID-related hospitalizations per 100,000 people. The exact number of new hospitalizations reported during the week was two.

By comparison, Olmsted County’s seven-day case rate dropped by a little more than 6%, with 673 total confirmed cases, or the equivalent of 425 per 100,000 residents.

Olmsted County also saw 18 new COVID-related hospitalizations, which was down 25.5% compared to the previous week, for a rate of 11.4 per 100,000.

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Reported case rates dropped in the majority of Southeast Minnesota counties, with only Goodhue and Winona reporting increases. Fillmore County reportedly remained flat with 43 confirmed cases in a seven-day period, or the equivalent of 204 cases per 100,000 residents.

Goodhue County, with a nearly 8.2% increase to its case rate of 256.8 cases per 100,000 residents, remained out of the CDC’s high-transmission status due to maintaining a low number of COVID-related hospitalizations. The county reported five per 100,000 residents.

Winona County had a 27.4% increase in confirmed cases during a seven-day period, reporting a rate of nearly 313 cases per 100,000 residents.

Statewide, 19 counties were deemed areas of high transmission this week, compared to nine a week earlier.

In addition to Olmsted, Dodge, Fillmore, Wabasha and Winona counties in Southeast Minnesota, Faribault, Freeborn and Steele counties are considered areas of high transmission in the southernmost portion of the state.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, Carlton, Douglas, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Mille Lacs, Pine, Pope, Roseau, St. Louis and Stevens counties are considered areas with high transmission.

Since Olmsted County returned to being an area of high COVID transmission last month, public health officials have encouraged residents to take actions to reduce the rate of spread.

Recommendations include:

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  • Wearing a mask indoors in public.
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and staying up to date with boosters.
  • Getting tested if COVID-19 symptoms appear.
  • Following the CDC’s quarantine and isolation guidance when ill with COVID-19.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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