Skip to main content

83 of Minnesota's 87 counties now have high or substantial COVID-19 transmission

Less than a month ago, just 14 counties fell into those categories.

Just over three weeks ago, when federal health officials recommended everyone in COVID hotspots wear a mask while in public indoor spaces, just 14 Minnesota counties reached that face-covering threshold.

That number is now up to 83.

All but four of the state's 87 counties have what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers "substantial" or "high" transmission, according to Friday morning's data. Under CDC guidance, every person — whether vaccinated or not — should wear a face covering while in public, indoor spaces in these areas. 

Related: The MN businesses, organizations and events that now require or recommend a face mask

What's more, the vast majority of these counties have the most severe "high" level of transmission. (That's the red in the map to the right.)

The continued increases in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and positivity rate have prompted many governmental units, businesses, schools and venues to reimplement mask mandates or add new vaccination requirements. On Friday, the state said it had recorded 1,708 new cases and 10 newly reported deaths, with a positivity rate of 5.57%.

The four Minnesota counties with only "moderate" transmission are: Big Stone, Kittson, Koochiching and Red Lake. Below you'll find lists of counties with high and substantial transmission, organized alphabetically.

High transmission (65 counties)

  1. Aitkin County
  2. Anoka County
  3. Beltrami County
  4. Benton County
  5. Blue Earth County
  6. Brown County
  7. Carlton County
  8. Carver County
  9. Cass County
  10. Chippewa County
  11. Chisago County
  12. Clearwater County
  13. Crow Wing County
  14. Dakota County
  15. Dodge County
  16. Douglas County
  17. Faribault County
  18. Fillmore County
  19. Freeborn County
  20. Goodhue County
  21. Grant County
  22. Hennepin County
  23. Houston County
  24. Hubbard County
  25. Isanti County
  26. Itasca County
  27. Jackson County
  28. Kandiyohi County
  29. Lac qui Parle County
  30. Le Sueur County
  31. Lyon County
  32. Marshall County
  33. Martin County
  34. McLeod County
  35. Meeker County
  36. Mille Lacs County
  37. Morrison County
  38. Mower County
  39. Murray County
  40. Nicollet County
  41. Nobles County
  42. Olmsted County
  43. Otter Tail County
  44. Pennington County
  45. Pine County
  46. Pope County
  47. Ramsey County
  48. Rice County
  49. Rock County
  50. Scott County
  51. Sherburne County
  52. Sibley County
  53. Stearns County
  54. Steele County
  55. Stevens County
  56. Swift County
  57. Todd County
  58. Wabasha County
  59. Wadena County
  60. Waseca County
  61. Washington County
  62. Watonwan County
  63. Winona County
  64. Wright County
  65. Yellow Medicine County

Substantial transmission (18 counties)

  1. Becker County
  2. Clay County
  3. Cook County
  4. Cottonwood County
  5. Kanabec County
  6. Lake County
  7. Lake of the Woods County
  8. Lincoln County
  9. Mahnomen County
  10. Norman County
  11. Pipestone County
  12. Polk County
  13. Redwood County
  14. Renville County
  15. Roseau County
  16. St. Louis County
  17. Traverse County
  18. Wilkin County

Next Up

Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary

Emaciated Great Danes rescued after being found living in minivan

Great Dane Rescue of Minnesota and Wisconsin posted that two of the dogs are in "rough condition" and "barely hanging on."

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

2 years since George Floyd's killing, Biden signs exec order on policing

The signing comes on the second anniversary of Floyd's murder by police in south Minneapolis.


Lutsen Mountains owner to buy Michigan ski resort

The Skinner family has operated alpine ski areas in the Midwest for 60 years.


Mayo Clinic, CDC address concerns over monkeypox in the US

The CDC does not currently think there is a significant threat to the general public.

police tape

Charges: Man killed brother, left body in homemade camper for 7 months

James Robert Hess, 48, faces second-degree murder charges for the death of his 52-year-old brother, William Harold Hess Jr.


Minnesota forecast: Hot, humid and severe storm chances

Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says right now the best chance for storms looks like Sunday/Sunday night.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota

Minnesota's biggest Thai festival to be hosted in front of State Capitol

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Thailand.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies after being shot in the head in St. Cloud

Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.


Uvalde school massacre: MN Democrats call for action, Republicans prayers

The tragedy in Texas has sparked different reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud man fires shot at police in hours-long standoff, surrenders

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 37, was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday after he surrendered.

New baby zebra at the Como Zoo.

St. Paul's Como Zoo welcomes new baby zebra

The baby is yet to be named, and the zoo is planning an event for visitors to help with the decision.


Flickr - mask required entry sign - Chad Davis

All but 2 MN counties have 'high' level of COVID-19 transmission

Masks are strongly recommended in indoor, public spaces throughout the state.

Pixabay - covid face mask bicycle bike

Number of MN counties with high, substantial COVID transmission hits 64

Nine days ago, 14 counties passed that threshold. We're now up to 64.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Flickr - child wearing mask close up - Nenad Stojkovic

Just 1 MN county is below CDC's mask guidance threshold

That means a mask is recommended for everyone in public, indoor spaces.

Flickr - woman holding face mask covid - Nenad Stojkovic

All of Minnesota is now a COVID-19 hotspot

Every county has high or substantial transmission, meaning masks are recommended.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

The agency is also recommending masks for everyone in K-12 schools.

face mask

Just 8 MN counties remain below CDC's face mask guidance threshold

Face masks are now suggested in public, indoor spaces in 90% of the state.