— Confirmed cases of COVID-19 decreased markedly in late August and early September, with 413 cases reported in the region in the
weekly situation update
released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.
No deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in west central Minnesota between Aug. 28 to Sept. 3.
Last week's update included more than 500 cases and three deaths in the 11 counties tracked by the West Central Tribune.
The state's report of new cases is an undercount, because at-home test results are not included.
Though many people have begun to think the pandemic is over, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has remained above 400 since May.
In west central Minnesota, 19 people from area counties were hospitalized in late August and early September — two in Big Stone, two in Kandiyohi, one in Pope, one in Renville, one in Swift and 12 in Stearns.
In June 2022, the department began providing a weekly update, replacing the daily updates that began in spring 2020.
The updates are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. and include data received as of 4 a.m. the preceding Tuesday. When the report refers to numbers from last week, it refers to information gathered from Sunday through Saturday the week before the information is released.
In all cases, the numbers in the state's updates are preliminary and may change as more information is received.
The state's current total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now at 13,153, an increase of 36 people who died since last week's report.
New cases reported in the area the week of Aug. 28 to Sept. 3:
* Big Stone, 9
* Chippewa, 8
* Kandiyohi, 55
* Lac qui Parle, 12
* Meeker, 28
* Pope, 21
* Redwood, 31
* Renville, 23
* Stearns, 208
* Swift, 7
* Yellow Medicine, 11
The state's cumulative number of cases is now listed at 1,645,653, including reinfections. That's about 6,400 more confirmed new cases in the last week.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 again more than 90 days after an initial lab-confirmed positive test are considered to have a reinfection.
The state reported 425 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sept. 6. That includes 385 people hospitalized in a medical unit and another 40 in intensive care units.
The state also reports daily vaccine administration numbers. As of Sept. 6, 3,982,251 Minnesotans have received at least one dose and 3,753,461 have completed the vaccine series statewide.
The number of people listed as being up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they have had booster shots, is 1,789,985.