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County in area records no new COVID-19 cases for 1st time in 52 days

The positive sign comes the same day Gov. Tim Walz announced the continuation of some restrictions and the easing of others in an address to the state.

Coronavirus local headlines graphic

For the first time since late October, a county in the region reported no new cases of COVID-19 in the daily Minnesota Department of Health report.

Wadena County stayed at 1,035 cumulative cases Wednesday, Dec. 16, the same as the tally reported Tuesday. Aitkin County reported just one new case. None of the other five area counties โ€” Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Todd โ€” reported more than 20 new cases. Cass County recorded the most Wednesday with 16.

The last time an area county reported no new cases was Oct. 26, when Aitkin County stayed at 179 cases. As of Wednesday, Aitkin was the only remaining county in the region with fewer than 1,000 cases reported since the pandemic began, sitting at 942.

The positive sign comes the same day Gov. Tim Walz announced the continuation of some restrictions and the easing of others in an address to the state. Walz commended Minnesotans for listening to health care leaders last month, who repeatedly sounded the alarm about the dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases in the state and its impact on hospitals. While showing a line graph illustrating the dip in new cases, Walz said Minnesota saw less spread than surrounding states following Thanksgiving, which he said showed the stateโ€™s residents took those pleas seriously.

Yet, the health department Wednesday reported 92 new deaths due to complications of COVID-19, and Walz cautioned residents to remain vigilant as cases are still significantly higher than anything seen in the state before last month. Among the 92 dead were three area residents: a Crow Wing County resident age 90-94 and two Todd County residents, ages 90-94 and 95-99.

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COVID-19 data as of Dec. 16

  • Aitkin โ€” 942 (+58 since Friday, Dec. 11), with 31 deaths.

  • Cass โ€” 1,793 (+98), with 13 deaths.

  • Crow Wing โ€” 4,297 (+136), with 49 (+3) deaths.

  • Mille Lacs โ€” 1,914 (+90), with 38 (+1) deaths.

  • Morrison โ€” 2,770 (+78), with 36 deaths.

  • Todd โ€” 2,130 (+53), with 21 (+5) deaths.

  • Wadena โ€” 1,035 (+48), with 10 (+1) deaths.

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

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