Thanksgiving is next week.  Christmas follows.  Arguably the two biggest family gatherings happend during those holidays.

Deb Purfeerst, Rice County Public Health Department Director and Sara Coulter, Clinic and Community Supervisor for the department were guests on the KDHL AM Minnesota program today.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner we asked Purfeerst about holding gatherings with the number of COVID cases skyrocketing across the state.   Her reply was a simple one, "Get vaccinated."  Not only does it protect you but it also protects others.

Now that children over 5 years old can get vaccinated Rice County Public Health is working with schools to have clinics for young people.

Tonight there is a clinic in Northfield which is full, another one will be Tuesday, November 23, 2021 from 3:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at Faribault Middle School.

Those who are eligible should get a booster because the first dosages of the vaccine are waning in strength.

Transmission rate is the highest in the nation in Minnesota.  Rice County's transmission rate is in the high category but Purfeerst pointed out the county has the lowest rate in southeast Minnesota.

The Rice County COVID Dashboard shows there have been a total of 10,943 cases.  4,884 women, 5,879 men, 180 unknown sex,  Age range has been from 5 days to 104 years with an average of 38.

Rice County has seen 492 hospitalizations with people ranging in age from 2 months to 98 years.  Average age is 60.  84 cases have been serious enough to require being in intensive care ranging in age from 3 months  to 95 years.  Average also 60.

It is interesting to point out that vaccinations have not gone up much in recent months in Rice County.

First dose has been given to 64.1 percent of the population in the county.  Full vaccine series 60.3 percent.  Those numbers are 39,986 and 37,616 respectively.

Listen to a podcast of the show below and be informed by local experts.

More information is available here.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.