Every week on Thursdays the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) releases its 14-day COVID-19 case rate by county report. It's a report that according to the MDH "can be used by schools in making decisions about their safe learning model. It shows the number of cases by county of residence in Minnesota over 14 days, per 10,000 people by the date of specimen collection (when a person was tested)." Last week 9 counties in Minnesota were over the 50 cases per 10,000 resident threshold that recommends 100% distance learning for the school districts located within those counties.

The highest case rate last week was again Waseca County with a case rate of 160.03 cases per 10,000 residents, which is down from the previous week's average of 164.28. The high numbers in Waseca are reflective of the high amount of cases stemming from the Federal prison located in Waseca. As of today;s information on the Bureau of Prison's website, Waseca's federal prison has had 567 tests done with 1 test pending and of those 567 tests 457 were positive cases of COVID-19.

In this week's report, 19 counties were over 50 cases per 10,000 resident rate, with Rock County being the highest at a case rate of 90.30 cases. Waseca County had the largest drop in case rate average going from 160.03 cases per 10k to 69.65 cases per 10k.

Image Credit: Minnesota Department of Health

The following counties were over the 50 cases per 10k threshold that recommends distance learning. (alphabetical order)

Big Stone - 53.83
Chippewa - 79.93
Clay - 59.08
Hubbard - 53.21
Itasca - 51.77
Kandiyohi - 75.48
Lac qui Parle - 50.20
Lincoln - 57.82
Lyon - 52.25
Mahnomen - 67.20
Martin - 52.59
Morrison - 59.79
Murray - 56.27
Pipestone - 72.95
Rock - 90.30
Wadena - 51.30
Waseca - 69.65
Wilkin - 55.18
Yellow Medicine - 53.71

As far as the 14-day averages in our area of Southern Minnesota there were some slight increases in a majority of counties including in Rice, Steele, and Fillmore counties. Olmsted County saw an average drop from last week.

Here are the averages for some Southern Minnesota counties in alphabetical order.

Blue Earth - 20.96
Dakota - 24.06
Dodge - 38.38
Fillmore - 37.82
Freeborn - 16.05
Goodhue - 16.44
Houston - 18.75
Le Sueur - 24.66
Mower - 23.23
Olmsted - 22.67
Rice - 22.50
Scott - 22.60
Steele - 29.72
Wabasha - 35.81
Waseca - 69.65
Winona - 34.42

You can see the full report here.