May 28—MANKATO — South-central Minnesota counties had another drop in new COVID-19 cases this week, continuing an encouraging downward trend over the last month.
Nine area counties combined for 101 new cases between May 22-28, a 44% drop from the prior week, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health.
It's the fourth straight week with declining COVID-19 case totals in the region.
None of the nine south-central counties had an increase in cases this week. Martin County was the only county to have the same number of cases as the week before.
Blue Earth County's weekly total dropped from 57 to 32. Watonwan County's number of total cases went unchanged all week in the health department's totals, although it did have one new case each reported in Thursday and Friday's daily updates — the difference in total case counts for each county is used to calculate their weekly totals.
Another low number of cases confirmed Friday contributed to this week's small regionwide uptick. Six area counties combined for 12 new COVID-19 cases Friday, a drop from Thursday's 23.
Six of the last seven days have had fewer than 20 new cases, according to the health department.
There were also no COVID-19 deaths confirmed in the region Friday.
Minnesota had five more deaths linked to the illness statewide. The state's pandemic death toll rose to 7,408.
Of the 12 new cases in the nine-county region, Martin County's four were the most. Blue Earth, Nicollet and Waseca counties each had two, while Watonwan and Sibley counties had one each.
Le Sueur, Brown and Faribault counties had no new cases.
For vaccines, the region now has about 52.7% of residents 16 and older with complete vaccinations. About 57.2% of the same population has at least one dose.
Statewide, about 58.1% of residents 16 and older have completed their vaccinations. About 64.2% has at least one dose.
Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola