COVID-19 case rate data for schools updated

(Mankato, MN) – Rising COVID-19 cases in the state mean rising case rates for many Minnesota counties, but there were a few declining rates locally.

The Data for K-12 Schools: 14-day COVID-19 Case Rate by County report was updated Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.  Schools use this data as a factor when determining which learning-delivery method will be utilized during the pandemic.

This week’s report covers September 27 through October 10.  Case rates are determined by the number of cases per 10,000 residents.

Here are MDH’s recommended policy options based on a 14-day case rate range:

  • 0-9 cases per 10,000 residents: In-person learning for all students
  • 10-19 cases per 10,000 residents: In-person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students
  • 20-29 cases per 10,000 residents: Hybrid learning for all students
  • 30-49 cases per 10,000 residents: Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students
  • 50+ cases per 10,000 residents: Distance learning for all students

There are 19 counties in the state with case rates of 50 or more.  That’s a significant increase compared to nine counties in that same range last week.  Waseca County remains in this range, but has seen a significant drop in its case rate compared to last week.  The county’s case rate dropped from 160.03 down to 69.65.  Martin County is in a similar position, with case rates currently at 52.59, down from 93.17 last week.  In Murray County, the case rate increased from 50.28 to 56.27, while Lyon County stayed mostly unchanged, it’s case rate at 52.25 this week.

There are 26 counties with case rates between 30 and 49, including Faribault (32.38), Fillmore (37.82), and Renville (31.93).

Blue Earth is one of 29 counties that have case rates between 20 and 29.  The county’s case rate dropped to 20.96 this week, from 30.01 last week.  Brown County is also in this case rate range, except case rates rose from 21.02 last week, to 27.77 this week.  Nicollet County’s case rate of 26.64 remains largely unchanged from last week.  Rice (22.50), Jackson (22.89), Mower (23.23) and Le Sueur (24.66) counties also fall into this case rate range.

At least five of the eleven counties that remain in the case rate range of 10 to 19 are in Southern Minnesota, including Cottonwood (19.35), which saw a slight increase in it’s rates this week, Freeborn (16.05), McLeod (12.56), Sibley (14.75), and Watonwan (16.40).

MDH reports two counties in the state have case rates 9 or below, but it appears Cook County, with its case rate of 1.88, is the only county remaining in that range.

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