Local COVID-19 stats lowest since last summer

This week is the first time since October 2021 that the health department did not report the death of a Crow Wing County resident from the disease.

An illustration depicts the virus sphere with spikes on the outer surface.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Contributed / CDC

BRAINERD — The Minnesota Department of Health reported just 76 new cases of COVID-19 in the seven-county north-central Minnesota region this week.

It’s been nearly nine months since the rate of new cases in the area was equally slow, and it comes amid St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that two years ago marked some of the first events canceled as the pandemic bore down.

This week is the first time since October 2021 the health department did not report the death of a Crow Wing County resident from the disease. And one hospitalization of a Crow Wing resident occurred, according to statistics provided by the county.

The experience of the region is reflective of the state as a whole, which has seen a precipitous decline in COVID-19 cases in the wake of the omicron variant surge subsiding. The seven-day rolling average for new cases across the state in Friday's report was 7.6 per 100,000. This week is the first time since July that measure of case growth dipped below the CDC's "high-risk" threshold of 10 per 100,000.

With spring in the air and optimistic forecasts signaling signs of the waning pandemic, some experts are keeping a close eye on rising cases in Europe prompted by the more contagious BA.2 variant of omicron, despite high vaccination rates.


Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN the surprising European surge may foretell another wave of cases in the U.S.

“Without a doubt, opening up society and having people mingle indoors is clearly something that is a contributor, as well as overall waning immunity, which means we’ve really got to stay heads-up and keep our eye on the pattern here,” Fauci said. “So that’s the reason why we’re watching this very carefully.”

Local deaths in last month

Aitkin County: One death reported Feb. 16, age 75-79.

Cass County: Six deaths, ages 60-64 (Feb. 14), 85-89 (Feb. 15), 75-79 (Feb. 22), 80-84 (Feb. 24), 85-89 (March 1) and 70-74 (March 2).

Crow Wing County: Seven deaths, ages 55-59 (Feb. 16), 80-84 (Feb. 17), 70-74 (Feb. 22), 55-59 (Feb. 24), 75-79 (Feb. 24), 85-89 (March 3) and 80-84 (March 9).

Mille Lacs County: Five deaths, ages 75-79 (Feb. 16), 70-74 (Feb. 17), 70-74 (Feb. 18), 75-79 (Feb. 22) and 55-59 (March 15).

Morrison County: Five deaths, ages 70-74 (Feb. 28), 75-79 (March 3), 65-69 (March 9), 75-79 (March 10) and 75-79 (March 17).

Todd County: Two deaths, ages 90-94 (March 1) and 65-69 (March 7).


Wadena County: Three deaths, ages 70-74 (Feb. 18), 75-79 (Feb. 24) and 95-99 (March 17).

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
What To Read Next
Attention teachers: Don't forget to submit your students' weather drawings to the Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401
Subscribe and listen to the Brainerd Dispatch Minute at, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
If allowed, alcohol sales and consumption would be limited to permitted events in the parks.
Presenting will be a panel of Upward Bound Program students and staff and Sociology instructor Scott Foster, who were part of a trip last summer that looked at the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.