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3 Southeast Minnesota counties listed as areas of high COVID transmission

Olmsted County sees slight dip, but case rate remains high, regardless of having the state's second-highest vaccination rate.

081822 COVID map.JPG
Houston, Olmsted and Wabasha counties are dosplayed as areas of high community transmission of COVID-19 on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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ROCHESTER — Olmsted County saw a slight dip in its COVID rate as two Southeast Minnesota counties joined it in being listed as an area of high community transmission of the virus.

Houston and Wabasha counties saw their seven-day case rates increase as COVID-related hospitalizations remained higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

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Wabasha County saw the region’s steepest increase, with 226.6 new confirmed cases per 100,000 residents during a seven-day period. It was a nearly 88.5% increase compared to the 120.22 rate seen the previous week.

Houston County saw a nearly 11.8% increase, reaching 204.3 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 182.8 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Olmsted County, which has spent six weeks classified as an area of high transmission, saw its rate drop 0.6%, with 212.3 new confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.

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The continued shifts come after the CDC has updated its recommended protocols and lifted the requirement to quarantine if exposed to the virus.

The federal agency continues to call for vaccinations, which has largely been heard in Olmsted County.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 80.2% of the county’s residents have completed the initial series of vaccinations, with only Cook County reporting a higher rate.

The rest of Southeast Minnesota has a completed vaccination rate slightly below the statewide average of 67.3%

Winona County, with 61.7% of all residents having completed a vaccination series, has the region’s lowest vaccination rate.

When it comes to COVID new case rates during the most recent seven-day period, three of five Southeast Minnesota counties considered areas of medium and low transmission, saw drops in the recent CDC report. Their rates are:

  • Dodge, 119.42 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, for a 16.7% decrease.
  • Fillmore, 118.67 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, for a 24.2% decrease.
  • Goodhue, 142.43 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, for a 1.5% decrease.
  • Mower, 179.72 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, for a 33.3% increase.
  • Winona, 158.47 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, for a 12.7% increase.

By comparison, the statewide rate of new confirmed COVID cases during a seven-day period dropped nearly 2% with 181.6 reported per 100,000 residents.

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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