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

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

There are now only eight counties in Minnesota where federal guidance does not explicitly recommend face masks be worn in public, indoor spaces. 

The number of Minnesota counties with high transmission of COVID-19 — the most severe categorization possible — has nearly doubled over the past week. An astonishing 62 counties in the state now fall into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "high transmission" category.

That figure is a sharp increase from seven days ago, when data showed 34 Minnesota counties with high transmission.

In addition, another 17 counties have "substantial" transmission, which is one step less severe than high transmission.

Under the CDC's most recent COVID-19 guidance, every individual — whether vaccinated or not — should wear a mask while in an indoor, public space in counties with high or substantial transmission. 

That means, as of Aug. 17,  90% of Minnesota is facing these elevated transmission levels, which are based on the rate of new cases per 100,000 persons and the percentage of positive tests in the past seven days.

Just eight counties have slightly less-serious "moderate" transmission of COVID-19: Big Stone County, Cook County, Cottonwood County, Koochiching County, Mahnomen County, Murray County, Pipestone County, Red Lake County. 

In these places, the spread of COVID-19 is considered limited enough that the CDC does not specifically recommend people wear masks indoors.

No Minnesota counties have "low" transmission.

Here's a look at the list of counties with high or substantial transmission:

Counties with high transmission:

  • Anoka County
  • Beltrami County
  • Benton County
  • Blue Earth County
  • Brown County
  • Carver County
  • Chippewa County
  • Chisago County
  • Clearwater County
  • Crow Wing County
  • Dakota County
  • Dodge County
  • Douglas County
  • Faribault County
  • Fillmore County
  • Freeborn County
  • Goodhue County
  • Grant County
  • Hennepin County
  • Houston County
  • Hubbard County
  • Itasca County
  • Jackson County
  • Kanabec County
  • Kandiyohi County
  • Lake of the Woods County
  • Le Sueur County
  • Lyon County
  • Marshall County
  • McLeod County
  • Meeker County
  • Morrison County
  • Mower County
  • Nobles County
  • Norman County
  • Olmsted County
  • Otter Tail County
  • Pennington County
  • Pine County
  • Pope County
  • Ramsey County
  • Redwood County
  • Renville County
  • Rice County
  • Rock County
  • Roseau County
  • Scott County
  • Sherburne County
  • Sibley County
  • Stearns County
  • Steele County
  • Stevens County
  • Swift County
  • Todd County
  • Traverse County
  • Wabasha County
  • Waseca County
  • Washington County
  • Watonwan County
  • Winona County
  • Wright County
  • Yellow Medicine County

Counties with substantial transmission:

  • Aitkin County
  • Becker County
  • Carlton County
  • Cass County
  • Clay County
  • Isanti County
  • Kittson County
  • Lac qui Parle County
  • Lake County
  • Lincoln County
  • Martin County
  • Mille Lacs County
  • Nicollet County
  • Polk County
  • St. Louis County
  • Wadena County
  • Wilkin County

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