Year in Review: 2021 delivered COVID vaccines and fewer deaths to Nobles County

Vaccination clinics began at long-term care and assisted living facilities in January.

JBS Vaccination
Leadership from JBS and UFCW Local 663 organized the Friday, March 19, 2021 vaccination clinic onsite at JBS Worthington. (Submitted photo)

REGIONAL — In 2020, Nobles County recorded 46 deaths due to complications of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in mid-March. As of Dec. 22, the county had recorded another 10 deaths from the virus this year.

Helping to squelch the severity of symptoms and reduce deaths were the advent of three vaccines approved for use in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. By Jan. 23, residents in Nobles County’s long-term care and assisted living facilities were being vaccinated against COVID-19. By early February, Nobles County Public Health began vaccinating District 518 staff and daycare providers throughout the county.

District 518 students began the year with a hybrid learning model, but returned to classrooms full-time on Feb. 16.

As some things slowly moved back toward normal, families shared stories of loved ones lost to the virus, and a trio of local women shared their stories of living with lingering health issues after battling COVID. They are the unlucky ones to be diagnosed with long-haul COVID.

Here are some additional headlines from stories that appeared in The Globe in 2021:


Jan. 30: JBS labor union calls for legislation to protect union workers

March 1: Mass vaccination clinics begin

March 17: A year like no other: Region marks one year into pandemic; Residents are vaccinated, but life not yet back to normal at The Meadows; Local business owners grateful for support during COVID-19 challenges; Schools reflect on pandemic learning

March 20: JBS workers vaccinated en masse

March 24: Progress continues on vaccinating Nobles County residents; Worthington selected for COVID-19 vaccination clinic

March 27: MDH hosts vaccine clinic in Worthington

April 14: Nobles County’s vaccine rate highest in area

April 21: WHS prom during pandemic looking a little different


April 24: School board addresses concerns about quarantine policy

May 14: Minnesota’s indoor masking requirement ends

June 26: Luverne Mayor named Minnesota Vaccine Ambassador; Gov. Walz to end COVID peacetime emergency; JBS, Pilgrim’s introduces Your Shot to Free Meat for a Year

July 24: COVID booster shots likely on the horizon

August 14: COVID-19 cases on the rise again

Sept. 1: Students return to District 518, masks required

Sept. 15: Vaccine-or-test mandate possible for district 518 employees

Sept. 18: Sanford Worthington is at 60% inpatient capacity


Oct. 13: Optional masking starts Monday

Oct. 16: Fulda Schools keep masking optional after COVID outbreak

Oct. 30: COVID shots and boosters available; COVID-19 vaccination rates rise in area counties

Nov. 6: Rock County records five COVID-related deaths this week.

Nov. 13: Cottonwood County loses 30th resident from COVID-19

Nov. 20: Hospitals receive grants for COVID-19; District 518 continues to prepare for any vaccination mandate

Dec. 4: Minnesota man is state’s first omicron variant case

Dec. 22: Nobles County records 56th death due to COVID-19

091521 N DG VAXCLINIC S1.jpg
Volunteers from Seeds of Justice set up canopies for a vaccine clinic held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in early September in Worthington. Tim Middagh / The Globe

Related Topics: CORONAVIRUS
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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