COVID-19 case rates: How the counties in Southern Minnesota are doing

(St. Paul, MN) – Whether your children attend school in-person, or are learning under a distance or hybrid model during the COVID-19 pandemic, it could change from one week to the next.

One of the tools school districts use to determine which learning-delivery method they’ll use is the Minnesota Department of Health’s weekly case rate report.  The report measures case rates by the number of cases per 10,000 residents in the county.  MDH issued recommendations for schools based on their county’s case rate.  This week’s report covers the period between Aug 30 and Sept 12.

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

Last week, there were six counties in Minnesota with case rates 50 or above.  This week, Waseca County is the lone county with a case rate above 50.  The county’s case rate rose from 75 last week, to 85 this week.

Blue Earth County was one of eight counties this week with case rates between 30 and 49, after having a case rate of 57 last week.  School officials determined that they would continue with a hybrid learning method, attributing the rise in cases to the return of college students to the area, and the recent free testing event on the Minnesota State University Mankato campus.  Watonwan, Big Stone, Clay, Stevens, Swift, Winona, and Yellow Medicine counties are also in this case rate range.

The remaining counties have case rates between 0 and 19, according to MDH.

Here are the case rates for counties in Southern Minnesota (case rates are the number of COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents) (SMN rounds case rates to the nearest whole number):

Blue Earth – 35 (down from 57 last week)
Brown – 9 (down from 12 last week)
Cottonwood – 10 (no change)
Faribault – 9 (up from 8 last week)
Fillmore – 4 (up from 3 last week)
Freeborn – 21 (up from 13 last week)
Jackson – 17 (up from 8 last week)
Le Sueur – 17 (down from 27 last week)
Lyon – 29 (down from 53 last week)
McLeod – 16 (up from 15 last week)
Martin – 15 (down from 18 last week)
Mower – 17 (up from 13 last week)
Murray – 10 (down from 12 last week)
Nicollet – 11 (down from 13 last week)
Nobles – 18 (down from 31 last week)
Redwood – 16 (down from 18 last week)
Renville – 19 (up from 16 last week)
Rice – 10 (down from 12 last week)
Sibley – 13 (down from 17 last week)
Steele – 17 (down from 19 last week)
Waseca – 85 (up from 75 last week)
Watonwan – 33 (down from 44 last week)



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