UPDA TE: Faribault County resident dies of COVID-19

Brian Arola, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·3 min read

Apr. 5—MANKATO — A COVID-19 death confirmed Monday in Faribault County was the region's 229th fatality linked to the illness during the pandemic.

The resident was in their mid to late 80s, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota had 10 COVID-19 deaths confirmed statewide Monday, raising the state's pandemic death toll to 6,885.

Faribault County has had 19 deaths linked to COVID-19 during the pandemic.

South-central Minnesota counties also combined for 34 new COVID-19 cases Monday. Blue Earth County accounted for 16 of them.

Faribault County was the only one in the south-central region not to have at least one new case. The full list of new cases by county includes:

Blue Earth County — 16

Nicollet County — 5

Brown County — 5

Le Sueur County — 2

Sibley County — 2

Martin County — 2

Waseca County — 1

Watonwan County — 1

Statewide, Minnesota's most recent COVID-19 data shows the state's vaccination rate continuing apace while caseloads and hospitalizations rise. Officials cautioned not to read too much into the most recent data given delays in reporting over the Easter weekend.

The health department on Monday reported about 69,000 more vaccinations, putting the seven-day trend at more than 54,000 shots daily. Monday's report also showed the state's positive test rate trending for a sixth day above 5 percent — a warning sign about a possible surge.

More than 1.1 million Minnesotans are fully inoculated while more than 1.8 million have received at least one dose, including more than 82% of residents age 65 and older. Minnesota expects to see its federal vaccine supply shipments jump over the next few weeks.

In south-central Minnesota, 50,952 residents — 21.9% of the population — are fully inoculated. A total of 77,539 residents — 33.4% — have received at least one dose.

Officials have described the state's current situation as a race against time to vaccinate as many Minnesotans as possible before the COVID-19 variants can get a stronger foothold. They've confirmed nearly 1,000 cases in the state of the highly contagious U.K. strain in recent weeks and believe it's responsible for the majority of the spread happening now.

Separately on Monday, state and federal officials unveiled plans for a mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul that will be able to vaccinate 100,000 Minnesotans over eight weeks. The site will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

The number of known, active cases has been trending upward over the past few weeks, with 16,053 active cases as of Monday's report — marking 17 consecutive days with active counts above 10,000, a stretch not seen since January.

While still low compared to late November and early December, the rising trend is notable given the worries over the rise of the U.K. COVID-19 strain, which state health officials suspect is driving the current upswing.

Hospitalization counts are also moving higher. Agency data showed 448 people with COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals; 110 needed intensive care. Daily admissions to hospitals because of COVID-19 are trending at their highest levels since late January.

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