While more than 50 new cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus were reported over the past week in the seven-county area, positivity rates in those counties remain below the state average along with the per capita testing rate.

Nearly half of the 53 new cases originated in Crow Wing County residents, which saw its total laboratory-confirmed case count rise by 25 to 161 cases as of Monday, July 27. The rise in confirmed cases in Crow Wing sent its per capita case rate higher than Morrison County for the first time since COVID-19 cases were recorded in the area. One more Crow Wing resident was hospitalized because of COVID-19, while five more people attributed their infections to travel.

Another change to Crow Wing County’s figures came in an adjustment to the death toll. Although it was reported by county officials the death toll rose by one person last week to 13 total deaths, one of the county’s deaths was reclassified and no longer considered COVID-related. In all, 12 county residents have died from complications of the disease, with 11 of those living at Good Samaritan Society-Bethany, a long-term care facility.

Cass County saw 10 new cases last week, along with six new cases in Todd, five new cases in Morrison, four new cases in Aitkin and three in Mille Lacs. Wadena County’s total did not change in that timeframe.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

As of Thursday, July 23, 5.8% of tests statewide have yielded a positive result. State health officials have noted the positivity rate is a key measure to watch to determine if the outbreak is worsening. Todd County sports a positivity rate nearly twice as high at 11.1%, although that has continued to fall from 15.3% on June 18, the first time this statistic was compiled at the county level by the Minnesota Department of Health.

All other area counties are well below the state average, with 2.3% the highest in Crow Wing and Morrison counties. Crow Wing’s positivity rate was the same as reported July 2, while Morrison fell by 0.7%. Aitkin County’s rate fell by 0.1% to 1.6% of tests resulting in a positive. Both Cass and Wadena counties increased their positive percentages: Wadena by 0.1% to 1% overall, and Cass by 0.4% to 1.5%.

Area counties are also testing people at a lower rate than the statewide average. Todd County came the closest to meeting the state mark, which is 168.5 per 1,000 people, with a rate of 160.4. Coming in next is Wadena County with 154.6 tests per 1,000. Both Crow Wing and Morrison are in the triple digits as well: 111.1 in Morrison and 110.4 in Crow Wing. Mille Lacs County has tested at a rate of 95.6 per 1,000 and Cass County, 89.6. Aitkin is last on the list of seven area counties, testing at a rate of 73.3 per 1,000 people.

COVID-19 data as of July 27

  • Aitkin — 25 (+4 since July 20).

  • Cass — 43 (+10).

  • Crow Wing — 161 (+25), with 12 deaths.

  • Mille Lacs — 50 (+3), with two deaths.

  • Morrison — 79 (+5), with one death.

  • Todd — 411 (+6), with two deaths.

  • Wadena — 20.

NOTE: These numbers are cumulative since March 21 and many are likely out of isolation. The number of those no longer needing isolation is not reported on a county-level basis by the state.

Statewide

  • Number of tests — 970,726.

  • Total positive cases — 51,803.

  • Positive health care workers — 5,988.

  • Age range with greatest number of cases — 20-29 years old, with 23.7% of cases.

  • Currently hospitalized — 257, with 126 in intensive care.

  • Total cases requiring hospitalization — 4,961.

  • Total deaths — 1,576, with 40 probable deaths.

  • Deaths among those in long-term care or assisted living — 1,207.

  • No longer needing isolation — 45,198.

Compiled from Minnesota Department of Health data and county sources.

As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status. If this coverage is important to you, please consider supporting local journalism by clicking on the subscribe button in the upper righthand corner of the homepage.