COVID cases drop locally but Minnesota case-rate high

Mark Fischenich, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·2 min read

Mar. 20—MANKATO — After two days of new COVID-19 cases approaching 100 in south-central Minnesota, Saturday's report brought better news.

There were 57 newly confirmed cases reported in the nine-county region around Mankato, down from 93 on both Friday and Thursday.

Statewide, 1,400 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health, and there were six additional deaths, bringing the toll since the beginning of the pandemic to 6,777 in Minnesota. None of the deaths were in the Mankato area.

Minnesota has had the most cases per capita in the past week in the five-state area, trailing only Michigan in the north-central United States, although the state's death rate remained one of the lowest in the nation.

In the last seven days, Minnesota has had 136 cases per 100,000 residents — slightly higher than South Dakota's 132 and substantially higher than Iowa (94), North Dakota (87) and Wisconsin (67), according to the Centers for Disease Control. Minnesota had the 12th highest incidence of COVID-19 in the nation. All of the states with higher rates were in the eastern half of the nation, led by New Jersey (305) but stretching from New Hampshire to Florida. Rhode Island and New York topped 200 cases per 100,000 residents.

Minnesota's per capita death rate in the past week, by contrast, was sixth-lowest in the nation, joined by Kansas and Alaska at 0.6 deaths per 100,000 residents. Hawaii (0.2) was the lowest, followed by Maine, Wyoming, Nebraska and North Dakota (0.5). Hawaii also had the lowest case rate in the last seven days.

The highest death rates this week were in West Virginia (five deaths per 100,000 residents) and Kentucky (16.7). Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota had death rates ranging from 1 to 1.4.

Locally, only Blue Earth and Martin counties had more than 10 newly confirmed cases in Saturday's report after five counties hit double-digits the previous day.

The county case totals in detail were:

Blue Earth — 13

Martin — 11

Brown — 7

Le Sueur — 6

Nicollet — 6

Sibley — 5

Faribault — 3

Waseca — 3

Watonwan — 3