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COVID-19 community spread on the rise

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REGIONAL — Southwest Health and Human Services Public Health Supervisor Ann Orren issued a press release Tuesday morning stating that community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in southwest Minnesota and people should remain cautious when in public.

“We are definitely seeing an increase in numbers in our rural areas," Orren said. "We are aware of several larger gatherings over the last couple of weeks and can link many cases back to those events.

“We understand that when young, healthy individuals contract the virus, they are not likely to become severely ill. Unfortunately, we don't live in seclusion and when a young person is asymptomatic or has very mild symptoms, they can still be contagious. This poses a greater threat for individuals who are older or who have underlying conditions.”

Southwest Health and Human Services is a multi-county agency serving Pipestone, Murray and Rock counties in The Globe’s coverage area, as well as Lincoln, Lyon and Redwood counties.

Due to the increase of community spread in southwest Minnesota, Orren advises people —- whether indoors or outdoors — to:


  • Keep 6 feet distance from other people from different households.

  • Wear a cloth face covering while in public around others outside of your household.

  • Minimize sharing items and equipment with people not from your household.

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Stay home if you are sick, and cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue.

If someone you have had close contact with has COVID-19, you must separate yourself from others. Stay home and do not go to work, school or any place outside of your home for 14 days after the last date of exposure. Even if you are tested and your test comes back negative, you must stay home for 14 days.

New COVID-19 cases in area counties

Pipestone County continues to see a rise in positive cases of the novel coronavirus, going from 63 cases and two deaths on July 8 to 90 cases and four deaths as of 4 p.m. July 13.

In the last week, new cases have been reported in each of the six far southwest Minnesota counties.

Currently, Nobles County has recorded 1,697 positive cases of COVID-19 and six deaths since testing began. According to a statement issued Monday from the county’s public health department, 1,667 individuals are considered to be beyond the 10-day isolation period. There were three new cases of COVID-19 in the county in the 24-hour period that ended at 4 p.m. Monday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Current statistics in neighboring counties are:

  • Cottonwood County: 142 positive cases (137 beyond the 10-day isolation period).

  • Jackson County: 58 positive cases (56 beyond the 10-day isolation period).

  • Murray County: 85 positive cases (two new cases).

  • Pipestone County: 90 positive cases (four new cases); four deaths. COVID-19 exposures in the Good Samaritan Society of Pipestone and Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton.

  • Rock County: 35 positive cases.

Statewide: 43,170 positive cases of COVID-19 (403 new cases in the 24-hour period that ended at 4 p.m. Monday); 37,749 individuals no longer needing isolation; 1,510 deaths (six new deaths) with another 38 deemed probable victims of the virus.
Among the dead are 1,175 individuals who had resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities. Currently, 236 patients are hospitalized, including 107 individuals in intensive care units. Since testing began, 4,137 Minnesota health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Iowa (according to Iowa Department of Public Health): 35,830 positive cases; 26,906 recovered; 756 deaths.

  • Dickinson County: 309 positive cases; 205 recovered; three deaths.

  • Osceola County: 70 positive cases; 50 recovered.

  • Lyon County: 63 positive cases; 47 recovered.

Nationwide (according to Johns Hopkins University): 3,374,654 positive cases; 1,031,939 recovered; 135,802 deaths.


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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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