Morrison County on Thursday, Nov. 19, reported a staggering number of new COVID-19 cases while Crow Wing County nearly matched its single-day record.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 355 new confirmed positives among Morrison County residents, a single-day figure none of the seven area counties have come even close to seeing. Crow Wing County, meanwhile, reported 124 new cases, just one case shy of its single-day high.

The state also reported its highest single-day total of COVID-19 deaths Thursday at 72 — seven of which occurred in residents of Aitkin, Crow Wing and Morrison counties. There were three Aitkin County deaths (ages 75-79, 85-89 and 95-99), three Morrison County deaths (ages 75-79, 80-84 and 95-99) and one Crow Wing County death (age 90-94).

Brad Vold, Morrison County public health/social services director, said he was surprised to see such a high number of new cases.

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“We actually saw it yesterday and ran the numbers a couple of times,” Vold said during a Thursday phone interview. “It looks to be accurate. … It’s hard to say or pinpoint any particular reason that our numbers were so significant for a one-day period. Generally speaking, we’ve been around 15 to 60 cases a day. This is certainly off the charts beyond what we’ve had in the past. … Tomorrow when you look at the number, we’ll have more.”

Vold said behind the statistics they’re noting a lot of transmission among family members as well as outbreaks in long-term care facilities. He said while leaders in the facilities have generally done a great job with infection control, staff members having to quarantine because of exposure is putting stress and pressure on these organizations.

“I think just the level of transmission within our community is concerning,” Vold said. “ … I’m hoping they take the governor’s order to heart and think about smaller or no gatherings. Continue to wear the mask wherever you go, wash your hands frequently, continue to social distance. … Hopefully this window the governor put in is going to be sufficient to help us at a statewide level and in Morrison County.”

Since Nov. 13, there have been 2,282 new cases reported in the seven-county area including Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. This accounts for nearly 24% of all the cases reported in the area since March, a figure quickly approaching 10,000.

COVID-19 data as of Nov. 19

  • Aitkin — 563 (+145 since Friday, Nov. 13), with 18 (+8) deaths.

  • Cass — 1,057 (+224), with eight deaths.

  • Crow Wing — 2,810 (+785), with 27 (+3) deaths.

  • Mille Lacs — 1,178 (+211), with 30 (+8) deaths.

  • Morrison — 1,862 (+593), with 19 (+4) deaths.

  • Todd — 1,535 (+190), with 12 (+2) deaths.

  • Wadena — 613 (+134), with six deaths.

NOTE: These numbers are cumulative since March 21 and many are out of isolation.