South-central Minnesota records 600th COVID-19 death

·2 min read

May 5—MANKATO — South-central Minnesota's COVID-19 pandemic death toll reached 600 this week.

The region's 600th fatality from the illness occurred in Martin County, according to Minnesota Department of Health data.

Despite the milestone, fatalities from the illness slowed down over about the last year.

It took the nine-county region 352 days to get from 500 to 600 COVID-19 deaths, compared to 67 days to get from 400 to 500.

The number of COVID-19 deaths by area county includes:

—Blue Earth — 129

—Brown — 91

—Nicollet — 78

—Martin — 77

—Faribault — 63

—Le Sueur — 58

—Waseca — 46

—Sibley — 31

—Watonwan — 27

Although it has the highest total number of COVID-19 fatalities, Blue Earth County's higher population gives it the lowest death rate. Faribault and Martin counties have the highest and second-highest death rates from the illness.

COVID-19 cases, meanwhile, continue to dwindle in the region. Area counties combined for only 25 between April 23-29, down about 46% from the previous week.

The latest weekly total is the lowest on record since summer 2021. One key difference between then and now is most test results are no longer officially recorded, but the case levels that do get recorded have been trending down since February.

The illness is out there, stated local COVID-19 data analyst Derek J. Wingert, but it's likely not causing people to become as sick as they were earlier in the pandemic. He described our current stage of the pandemic as the "most normalcy we've seen since the start," although the illness is still capable of causing problems for some.

"Still, we know it's still more than capable of doing serious damage to vulnerable demographics, and we know that even more robust populations can have a miserable time," he stated.

Along with the recent COVID-19 fatalities, south-central Minnesota had at least 21 residents requiring hospitalizations for COVID-19 over the last three weeks.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola