REGIONAL — Rock County has lost two more residents due to COVID-19, according to this morning’s update from the Minnesota Department of Health. The deaths included one individual aged 70 to 74, and one individual age 100 or older. No other details are provided by the state health department.

Meanwhile, area counties continue to see a surge in positive cases of the novel coronavirus, with Nobles County recording another 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour period that ended at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Rock County added seven new cases; Pipestone and Murray counties each added six; Jackson County, three; and Cottonwood County, one.

Minnesota’s cumulative number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 now stands at 128,152 (positive tests and antigen tests), with 113,976 beyond the 10-day isolation period. There were 1,574 new cases of the coronavirus reported in the 24-hour period and 20 deaths (seven in private residences; 13 in long-term care or assisted living facilities).

Statewide, 2,301 individuals have now died from COVID-19. Among the dead are 1,621 residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Thus far, 13,006 Minnesota health care workers have contracted the novel coronavirus.

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A local snapshot of the virus shows the following cumulative totals since testing began:

  • Nobles County: 2,195 positive cases; 16 deaths.

  • Cottonwood County: 265 positive cases.

  • Jackson County: 204 positive cases; one death.

  • Murray County: 264 positive cases; three deaths.

  • Pipestone County: 336 positive cases; 16 deaths.

  • Rock County: 309 positive cases; two probable cases; three deaths.

Individuals are asked to remain vigilant in the use of universal precautions in combating COVID-19. Handwashing with soap for 20 seconds, physical distancing, staying away from crowded and confined spaces with others and wearing facemasks are all advised.

Congregate care facilities with current exposures to COVID-19 in this area include South Shore Care Center in Worthington, Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton, Maple Lawn Senior Care and Maplewood Court Assisted Living in Fulda, Good Samaritan Society homes in Luverne, Pipestone, Windom and Westbrook, Ridge View Estates of Pipestone, the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne and Tuff Memorial Home, Hills.

The Iowa Department of Health reports 111,035 cases of COVID-19 in its state since testing began, with 85,612 individuals considered recovered. Thus far, 1,597 deaths are blamed on COVID-19 in the state.

In northwest Iowa:

  • Lyon County: 527 positive cases; 312 recovered; seven deaths. Long-term-care facilities with exposures include Lyon Specialty Care of Rock Rapids (29 cases, 13 recovered) and Fellowship Village of Inwood (30 cases, six recovered).

  • Osceola County: 259 positive cases; 160 recovered.

  • Dickinson County: 711 positive cases; 509 recovered; seven deaths.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University reports a cumulative total of 8,347,982 positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, with 3,323,354 individuals deemed recovered. There have been 222,324 COVID-related deaths in the United States.

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