Stock COVID 3

The Minnesota Department of Health's testing lab handles samples of COVID-19.

The Free Press and MPR News

MANKATO — The Minnesota Department of Health reported a drop in positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the nine-county region Sunday, with a total of 15 new cases and zero deaths.

Four area counties reported an increase. Blue Earth County had seven new cases, with a total of 918, followed by four new cases in Nicollet County, totaling 337. Le Sueur County had three new cases and Brown County had one, bringing those county totals to 220 and 89, respectively.

Faribault, Martin, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan Counties reported no additional cases Sunday.

Statewide, the MDH reported 806 new cases in Minnesota, with a cumulative total of 60,898. Nine people died from the virus Sunday, primarily in the Twin Cities Metro Area, although the MDH reported the death of a Steele County resident in their 80’s. The total number of deaths in Minnesota from COVID-19 is 1,657.

Most of the positive cases in Minnesota, or 13,938, came from unknown community exposure. Health care workers make up about 10% of all statewide positive cases, and 312 people were hospitalized as of Sunday. The positivity rate of positive cases to tests was just under 4%.

That’s down from a record 924 new cases and a 5.3% percent positive rate in Saturday’s report. Going into Sunday, the state had been averaging about 710 cases a day over the previous week.

Minnesotans in their 20s are the age group with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, while most of the people who have died from the disease are 60 or older.

The state says 53,568 people with COVID-19 — about 88 percent — have reached the point where they no longer need to be isolated.

State health officials have said that positive tests reported on a given day usually are the result of transmission that happened two to three weeks previously.

Saturday marked two weeks since Minnesota’s mask mandate — requiring the wearing of face coverings in indoor public places — took effect. Given the lag time in detecting cases, state health officials have said it could take at least 21 days from the start of the mandate, to determine whether it is affecting the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Dan Greenwood is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at dgreenwood@mankatofreepress.com