REGIONAL — The area continues to see rising numbers of individuals testing positive for COVID-19, with Pipestone County recording 29 new cases during the 24-hour period that ended at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile Cottonwood County recorded 23 new cases, Nobles County, 15, Rock County, 14, Murray County, 11, and Jackson County, two. The information was released this morning by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Minnesota recorded 72 deaths due to complications from COVID-19 during the 24-hour period — the second consecutive record high since the pandemic began. Among the dead were 21 individuals who resided in private residences, and 51 individuals in long-term care facilities. There have now been 3,082 Minnesotans lost to COVID-19, including 2,117 residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Another 7,877 individuals tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the period, bringing the state’s cumulative total of confirmed positive cases has now reached 249,906 (positive tests and antigen tests), with 198,365 beyond the 10-day isolation period.

Thus far, 19,197 Minnesota health care workers have contracted the novel coronavirus.

A local snapshot of the virus shows the following cumulative totals since testing began. The number of recoveries and current positivity rate is based on information released today by MDH.

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  • Nobles County: 2,850 positive cases; five probable cases; 2,668 beyond the 10-day isolation period; 27 deaths; positivity rate of 21.6%.

  • Cottonwood County: 573 positive cases; seven probable cases; 434 beyond the 10-day isolation period; positivity rate of 7.2%.

  • Jackson County: 356 positive cases; two probable cases; 300 beyond the 10-day isolation period; one death; positivity rate of 8.4%.

  • Murray County: 480 positive cases; one probable case; 386 beyond the 10-day isolation period; three deaths; positivity rate of 8.6%.

  • Pipestone County: 599 positive cases; six probable cases; 469 beyond the 10-day isolation period; 17 deaths; positivity rate of 8.3%.

  • Rock County: 556 positive cases; seven probable cases; 469 beyond the 10-day isolation period; nine deaths; positivity rate of 7.2%.

According to the Nobles County Joint Information Team: “Coronavirus infections have trended upward lately in Nobles County. It is very important to stay home when you feel sick and/or you, or someone within your household, is waiting for COVID-19 test results.

“Ten people from no more than three families are advised to meet at any given time for a gathering.

“Residents need to remain vigilant in the use of universal precautions. Hand washing with soap (for 20 seconds), physical distancing, staying out of crowded/confined spaces with others, and the use of face masks are important. There are numerous reports of people entering public spaces without face masks throughout our county. Hospitalizations are increasing. Vulnerable populations are being infected and deaths are on the rise. Community-wide discipline is required to protect our liberties, our local economy and (the health of) our loved ones.”

Congregate care facilities in this area with COVID-19 exposures include Adrian Country Living Cottages, Adrian; Parkview Manor, Ellsworth; Ecumen Meadows, Golden Horizons, Crossroads Care Center and South Shore Care Center, all in Worthington; Colonial Manor Nursing Home, Lakefield; Edgebrook Care Center, Edgerton; Maple Lawn Senior Care, Fulda; Good Samaritan Society homes in Jackson, Luverne, Mountain Lake, Windom and Westbrook; Ridgeview Estates, Pipestone; Minnesota Veterans Home, Luverne; and Tuff Memorial Home, Hills.

The Iowa Department of Health reports 198,674 cases of COVID-19 in its state since testing began, with 112,778 individuals considered recovered. Thus far, 2,102 deaths are blamed on COVID-19 in the state.

In northwest Iowa:

  • Dickinson County: 1,182 positive cases (58 new cases in last 24 hours); 712 recovered; nine deaths.

  • Lyon County: 861 positive cases (17 new cases in last 24 hours); 522 recovered; eight deaths.

  • Osceola County: 449 positive cases (18 new cases in last 24 hours); 275 recovered.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University reports a cumulative total of 11,558,241 positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 10:30 a.m. today, with 4,350,789 individuals deemed recovered. There have been 250,898 COVID-related deaths in the United States.

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