West central Minnesota COVID-19 14-day case rates continue to fall; state's rates also falling

·3 min read

May 27—All but one area county reported another decrease in their 14-day COVID-19 case rates in Thursday's report from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Overall, case rates in the state have declined steadily in the past month. Statewide, 23 of the state's 87 counties have case rates of 30 or more per 10,000 residents. A month ago, 71 counties had case rates higher than 30.

Lac qui Parle County reported a small increase, but its case rate remains in the single digits. Just two counties, Meeker and Pope, continue to have case rates in the 30s. Other counties have case rates in the teens and 20s.

School districts track positive cases and quarantine activity in their buildings and consult with public health officials and others to determine how to operate their schools during the pandemic. The case rate is one factor they may consider. The Minnesota Department of Health releases the case rate report at 11 a.m. each Thursday.

The case rate measures the county's number of newly confirmed cases over a two-week period per 10,000 residents. The state divides the number of new cases by the number found by dividing a county's population by 10,000.

The state considers a 14-day case rate of 10 or higher to represent an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community, especially when the level is sustained or increases over time.

This list includes the current case rate for area counties from May 2 to May 15 and how it changed from a week ago:

* Big Stone County: 19.94, down

* Chippewa County: 9.99, down

* Kandiyohi County: 26.96, down

* Lac qui Parle County: 8.86, up

* Meeker County: 37.26, down

* Pope County: 31.88, down

* Redwood County: 26.74, down

* Renville County: 19.02, down

* Stearns County: 29.97, down

* Swift County: 22.31, down

* Yellow Medicine County: 9.12, down

Separately, the Minnesota Department of Health each week also updates its list of school buildings that reported five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week reporting period.

Area school buildings on the list are as follows: MACCRAY Senior High, Clara City; Eden Valley Secondary, Eden Valley; Litchfield Middle School, Litchfield; Litchfield Senior High, Litchfield; Minnewaska Secondary, Glenwood; Redwood Valley Senior High, Redwood Falls; Reede Gray Elementary, Redwood Falls; Paynesville Elementary, Paynesville; and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Secondary, Kerkhoven.

School buildings that have not reported a new case for 28 days will be removed. If five or more cases are reported in a school building in a subsequent two-week period, they will once again be listed.

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