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COVID-19 case rates increased in 59 of 87 Minnesota counties in the weekly statewide report released Thursday by the health department. 

County case rates are based on the number of confirmed cases in a week per 10,000 people, with the latest report representing case rates for Sept. 19-25. For context, anything over 10 is a signal that there is widespread community transmission.

Last Thursday's weekly update saw week-over-week increasing case rates in 74 of 87 counties, but while fewer counties showing increases in the latest report is encouraging, it doesn't tell the whole story as there are now 66 counties with at least 30 cases per 10,000 residents. 

A week ago, there were 54 counties at the 30+ level. There are also now 44 counties with case rates above 40 per 10,000, which is up from 21 counties a week ago. 

What's more is that there are now 20 counties at the 50+ level compared to 14 such counties in last week's report. Just three weeks ago the highest case rate in the state was 53.8. 

All of the 20 highest county case rates are in greater Minnesota. 

  1. Clearwater: 129.4 cases per 10,000 people
  2. Mahnomen: 90.8
  3. Wadena: 88.7
  4. Becker: 76.1
  5. Yellow Medicine: 70.9
  6. Beltrami: 70.5
  7. Traverse: 68.9
  8. Red Lake: 64.9
  9. Redwood: 62.6
  10. Marshall: 57.5
  11. Todd: 56.9
  12. Koochiching: 55.4
  13. Martin: 55.1
  14. Cass: 54.4
  15. Lincoln: 54.3
  16. Lake: 53.0
  17. Benton: 52.8
  18. Hubbard: 52.7
  19. Steele: 51.8
  20. Crow Wing: 51.5

The graphic below can help paint a picture of how transmission has increased in the past five weeks of reporting. Notice how the color of the Twin Cities counties have remained the same throughout. 

Screen Shot 2021-10-07 at 12.26.54 PM

Case rates in the seven-county Twin Cities metro remain mostly stable, but also indicate widespread community transmission is ongoing – just not at the levels seen in the aforementioned greater Minnesota counties. 

  • Scott: 27.8 cases per 10,000 (up from 26.4 in last week's report)
  • Carver: 28.7 (up from 28.2)
  • Anoka: 33.5 (up from 27.5)
  • Washington: 22.7 (down from 23.2)
  • Dakota: 21.2 (down from 24)
  • Hennepin: 19.8 (up from 19.2)
  • Ramsey: 17.3 (up from 16.9)

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Only six counties have an infection rate under 20, including the state's two most populous (and among the most vaccinated) counties, Hennepin and Ramsey.

  1. Cook: 7.5 cases per 10,000 people
  2. Chippewa: 12.5
  3. Pipestone: 14.2
  4. Ramsey: 17.3
  5. Hennepin: 19.8
  6. Jackson: 19.9

You can read the full report here to see even more details from the state health department.

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