Jul. 9—MANKATO — South-central Minnesota counties combined for 29 new COVID-19 cases this week, up one from the prior week.
The 28 and 29 new cases over the last two weeks were a slight rise from totals between June 12-25, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. June 12-18 had 24 new cases, while June 19-25 had 23.
Seven new cases confirmed Friday contributed to this week's total.
Blue Earth County had three of the seven new cases. Nicollet, Waseca, Brown and Faribault counties each had one.
Minnesota also had five more COVID-19 deaths confirmed statewide. The state's pandemic death toll rose to 7,622.
South-central Minnesota's pandemic death toll remains at 250.
For vaccines, Gov. Tim Walz's office announced Mankato's state-run vaccination site will be phased out by Aug. 8. Only second doses will be administered at the site starting Monday, according to a release from the governor's office.
The move comes after Minnesota reached President Joe Biden's goal for states to get to 70% vaccination rates among residents 18 and older.
Located at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center downtown, Mankato's site was one of several mass vaccination centers across the state. All but the one at the Mall of America will close by Aug. 8.
Residents still in need of the vaccine can still receive it at local pharmacies and clinics.
Also Friday, Watonwan County became the fourth county in the region to reach 60% of 16-and-older residents having first doses. Brown, Nicollet and Blue Earth counties are the others.
The next closest to 60% is Faribault County at 57.1%.
South-central Minnesota's overall vaccination rate among 16-and-older residents remains below 60%. Minnesota's overall rate is 67.4%.
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