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North-central Minn. beginning to see increases in new COVID-19 cases

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Health reported about three-quarters of all recent coronavirus infections in the state are believed to be caused by the more contagious delta variant, also believed to be responsible for more severe illness in some people.

Coronavirus local headlines graphic

After two months of nearly static COVID-19 case numbers, north-central Minnesota is matching the statewide trend with a slow escalation of new reports.

Crow Wing County — where the county’s 99th death attributed to the coronavirus, a man age 70-74, was reported Friday, July 23 — counted 29 new cases of the disease in the past seven days. While nowhere near the late 2020 height of the pandemic, when daily reports often exceeded 80 new cases or more, the last week represents a departure from recent months. Between May 23 and June 23, a total of 88 new cases were reported in Crow Wing. That figure dropped to 80 new cases between June 23 and July 23 — however, more than one-third of those cases occurred in the last week alone.

Also showing noticeable bumps in numbers are Morrison, Mille Lacs and Wadena counties.

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Health reported about three-quarters of all recent coronavirus infections in the state are believed to be caused by the more contagious delta variant, also believed to be responsible for more severe illness in some people.

Vaccines have proven very effective against both the original coronavirus and its variants at protecting against infection and severe disease. About 68% of Minnesotans 16 and older have gotten at least one dose of vaccine.

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Health officials say nearly all new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been in residents who are not vaccinated.

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