Olmsted County sees COVID transmission return to 'high' after one-week break

Increase in cases and hospitalization rates are seen through most of the Southeast Minnesota region.

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Olmsted County returns to an area of high COVID transmission in the weekly update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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ROCHESTER — Olmsted County’s time as an area of low community transmission of COVID-19 was short lived.

Thursday’s weekly virus transmission report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows increasing infection rates throughout the eight-county region.

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It comes a week after the entire Southeast Minnesota region dropped to the federally defined “low” status, with each county reporting less than 200 cases per 100,000 residents, during a seven-day period.

Olmsted and Goodhue counties saw seven-day case reports climb beyond the 200 mark this week, but only Olmsted County coupled that with a COVID-related hospitalization rate of 16.5 per 100,000 residents, which was enough to propel it back into “high” status.

The increased hospitalization rate, which is shared with six of Southeast Minnesota’s eight counties, means several surrounding counties are now considered areas of medium transition, even as their caseloads remain less than 200 per 100,000 residents.


Only Houston County remains defined as an area of low transmission, based on a hospitalization rate of 2.5 per 100,000 residents, which is shared with parts of the neighboring southwest Wisconsin region.

Olmsted County’s number of newly confirmed cases – a 56.6% increase – was only topped by Goodhue County, which reported 224.43 cases per 100,000 residents during a seven-day period.

The number of reported hospitalizations in Goodhue County was seven per 100,000 residents, which kept it in the federally defined “medium” category for transmission.

Other counties also saw increased case rates during a seven-day period. Their rates are:

  • Dodge County, 128.98 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Fillmore County, 61.71 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Houston County, 150.54 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Mower County, 179.72 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Wabasha County, 157.21 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Winona County, 198.08 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.

Statewide, the last reported seven-day case rate was 179 new cases per 100,000 residents.
Eight Minnesota counties join Olmsted County in being considered areas of high COVID transmission.

They are Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Redwood, Renville, Rock and St. Louis counties.

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
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