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71 of Minnesota's 87 counties have high or substantial community transmission of COVID

The list keeps growing.

Nearly 40% of Minnesota has a "high" level of community transmission of COVID-19 — the worst possible categorization used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Thirty-four counties now fall into the "high" transmission category, according to the latest data Wednesday afternoon from the CDC. That includes Hennepin and Anoka counties in the Twin Cities metro. Six days ago, just 14 counties had what the agency considers "high" levels of community transmission.

Meanwhile, an additional 37 counties have "substantial" levels of transmission.

The CDC's community transmission map as of Aug. 11, 2021.

The CDC's community transmission map as of Aug. 11, 2021.

That means in these 71 counties, the CDC recommends every individual wear a mask while in public indoor settings, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. Sixty-four Minnesota counties were across this threshold one week ago.

Related: Number of MN counties with a 70% vaccination rate hasn't budged in weeks

Just one Minnesota county, Pipestone, has low transmission. The remaining 15 have moderate transmission.

The goal of the CDC's mask guidance in these hotspots is to slow the spread of the delta variant. While officials say the existing COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing people from getting seriously ill or dying due to the delta variant, data indicates vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus to others, endangering those who are not (or cannot be) vaccinated.

Related: MN's breakthrough infection statistics, including hospitalizations, deaths

Here are the Minnesota counties with high transmission, in alphabetical order:

  1. Anoka County
  2. Beltrami County
  3. Chisago County
  4. Clearwater County
  5. Dodge County
  6. Fillmore County
  7. Freeborn County
  8. Hennepin County
  9. Houston County
  10. Hubbard County
  11. Itasca County
  12. Jackson County
  13. Kanabec County
  14. Kandiyohi County
  15. Le Sueur County
  16. Lincoln County
  17. Marshall County
  18. McLeod County
  19. Meeker County
  20. Mower County
  21. Nobles County
  22. Norman County
  23. Olmsted County
  24. Otter Tail County
  25. Pine County
  26. Pope County
  27. Rice County
  28. Rock County
  29. Sibley County
  30. Stearns County
  31. Steele County
  32. Traverse County
  33. Waseca County
  34. Watonwan County

And here are the counties with substantial transmission:

  1. Aitkin County
  2. Becker County
  3. Benton County
  4. Blue Earth County
  5. Carlton County
  6. Carver County
  7. Cass County
  8. Cottonwood County
  9. Crow Wing County
  10. Dakota County
  11. Douglas County
  12. Faribault County
  13. Goodhue County
  14. Isanti County
  15. Kittson County
  16. Lyon County
  17. Martin County
  18. Mille Lacs County
  19. Morrison County
  20. Murray County
  21. Nicollet County
  22. Pennington County
  23. Polk County
  24. Ramsey County
  25. Redwood County
  26. Roseau County
  27. Scott County
  28. Sherburne County
  29. St. Louis County
  30. Stevens County
  31. Todd County
  32. Wabasha County
  33. Wadena County
  34. Washington County
  35. Wilkin County
  36. Winona County
  37. Wright County

The classifications are based on one of two variables: Total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days, and percentage of positive tests during the past seven days.

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