REGIONAL — The number of vaccinations for COVID-19 being administered appears to have leveled off in the six counties of far southwest Minnesota, but new cases continue to crop up in each county.

Friday morning’s update from the Minnesota Department of Health noted five new cases of the virus in Pipestone County, four in Murray County and two new cases each in Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles and Rock counties. These were among 1,877 new cases reported statewide during the 24-hour reporting period that ended at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The cumulative total of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Minnesota now stands at 575,812 (positive and antigen tests), with 553,030 beyond the 10-day isolation period. Thus far, 41,377 Minnesota health care workers have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, another 16 deaths were recorded across Minnesota for the one-day period, including 14 individuals who lived in private residences and two who were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Minnesota’s death toll from the virus now stands at 7,144, including 4,367 residents of long-term care facilities.

A local snapshot of COVID-19, with current cumulative positive and probable test results and deaths as reported by MDH, recovery data (beyond the 10-day isolation period) as of April 29, and the percentage of residents aged 16 and older who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday shows:

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  • Nobles County: 4,053 cases; 3,961 recoveries; 48 deaths; 55%.

  • Cottonwood County: 1,608 cases; 1,557 recoveries; 21 deaths; 54%.

  • Jackson County: 1,205 cases; 1,168 recoveries; 11 deaths; 45%.

  • Murray County: 1,048 cases; 1,020 recoveries; nine deaths; 50%.

  • Pipestone County: 1,133 cases; 1,075 recoveries; 26 deaths; 50%.

  • Rock County: 1,260 cases; 1,213 recoveries; 19 deaths; 47%.

A free saliva testing site for COVID-19 is open at the Worthington Event Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The testing site will be closed today through Sunday and May 6-9.

Area long-term care facilities reporting COVID-19 exposures as of April 29 include the Good Samaritan Society in Pipestone; Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton, Parkview Manor in Ellsworth and the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.

All Minnesota residents aged 16 and older are now eligible for coronavirus vaccines. The Public Health department encourages all eligible individuals to seek vaccination. Private providers in Worthington include Access Family Medical Clinic/Avera Medical Group, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Sanford Health, Sterling Drug and Walgreens.

The Iowa Department of Health reports 394,397 cases of COVID-19 since testing began. Thus far, 5,950 deaths are blamed on the novel coronavirus in the state.

In northwest Iowa:

  • Dickinson County: 2,655 positive cases (three new cases); 2,274 recovered; 43 deaths.

  • Lyon County: 1,574 positive cases (no new cases); 1,472 recovered; 41 deaths.

  • Osceola County: 803 positive cases (two new cases); 706 recovered; 16 deaths.

Johns Hopkins University reports a nationwide cumulative total of 32,296,353 positive cases of COVID-19 as of 10:30 a.m. Friday. Thus far, 575,270 Americans have died from the virus.

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