Morrison, Crow Wing and Aitkin are among the growing number of Minnesota counties beginning to see higher levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

Based on data collected between July 23 and Thursday, July 29, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Morrison County as one of three in the state with a high level of transmission, the highest designation offered by the federal public health organization. The others are Lake and Dodge counties.

Case rates in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties were both recognized as representing substantial community transmission, the next highest designation. Thirty other Minnesota counties are also seeing substantial transmission, primarily in central and southern Minnesota.

The number of counties in the United States in the high transmission category — which means there are more than 10 new cases per 10,000 people in the past seven days — grew by 17.39% in a week.

Cases in the seven-county region topped more than 100 this week for the first time since May. A total of 114 new cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus were reported between Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. This includes 38 in Crow Wing County, an increase of nine cases over last week’s 29.