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Crow Wing death toll rises by 3; Essentia Health unveils coronavirus dashboard

Among the locals who succumbed to the disease was a person in their early 50s.

Coronavirus local headlines graphic

Five area residents were among the 77 deaths reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Wednesday, Dec. 2, the second-most reported in a single day.

Three of the five lived in Crow Wing County, including a resident age 50-54 and two residents ages 80-84. Also among the dead were two people ages 85-89, one a resident of Morrison County and the other a Wadena County resident.

Daily reports of new cases are trending lower in the region compared to much of November. On Wednesday, 51 new cases were reported in Crow Wing County, whereas much of November daily new cases ranged from 80-125. It remains to be seen how much the data is impacted by the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, during which testing rates went down.


Essentia Health unveils COVID-19 Regional Projections Dashboard

In response to the recent surge of COVID-19 across the region and the frequent fluctuations in case rates, Essentia Health launched a COVID-19 Regional Projections Dashboard.

The dashboard aggregates publicly available data and features an interactive map of Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Users can compare case numbers and projections by state and drill down further by county. Available metrics include cases per 10,000 people, daily new cases, seven-day positivity rates, etc.

“It’s intended to inform our communities by presenting rich data in a highly visual way,” a news release stated.

Visit https://bit.ly/2VvNFHa to access the dashboard.

“We hope that community members use this dashboard to better understand the impact of COVID in our region, and how behaviors like physical distancing and masking affect the spread of this disease,” stated Dr. Sarah Manney, chief medical information officer at Essentia Health, in the release. “As a community we can use this dashboard to observe the changes over time and celebrate as we slow the spread of COVID.”

Essentia Health noted people can look at case rates following a mask mandate or a holiday to understand the resulting impact. The trendlines tell a story of the numbers throughout this pandemic, highlighting the severity of the current situation and forecasting possible scenarios, the release stated.

“We as a team of scientists have been watching this every day since March, and we can absolutely tell when the data changes because of the behavior of the community,” Manney stated.

Developed jointly by Essentia’s enterprise analytics department and the Essentia Institute of Rural Health, the dashboard is updated daily, Monday through Friday. Users are encouraged to first view the three-minute video tutorial, which provides additional context and explains how best to navigate the dashboard.


“This is an evolution of the work of our highly talented data scientists and researchers from the Institute of Rural Health,” Manney stated. “It’s a collaboration between those two groups, and they’ve worked really hard. They’re passionate about caring for our communities and presenting data with education. This is the result of many, many months of their work.”

COVID-19 data as of Dec. 2

  • Aitkin — 795 (+78 since Friday, Nov. 27), with 30 (+1) deaths.

  • Cass — 1,499 (+166), with 10 deaths.

  • Crow Wing — 3,762 (+316), with 37 (+6) deaths.

  • Mille Lacs — 1,612 (+161), with 31 deaths.

  • Morrison — 2,417 (+177), with 30 (+3) deaths.

  • Todd — 1,825 (+135), with 14 (+2) deaths.

  • Wadena — 815 (+106), with seven (+1) deaths.

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

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