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The Free Press and MPR News

MANKATO — There were three newly reported COVID-19 deaths in the region Wednesday, including a patient at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.

A Blue Earth County resident, age 30-34, died as did a Waseca County resident age 55-59.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services also reported a death at the state Security Hospital in St. Peter. The patient died Monday. No other information on the patient was released. It was the first COVID-19-related death reported on the campus.

Since the pandemic began, five patients, clients or residents in DHS-operated facilities have died of COVID-19. DHS provides care for about 12,000 people each year in its psychiatric hospitals and other inpatient mental health facilities, residential addiction treatment facilities and group homes.

Statewide, 24 deaths and 1,825 new confirmed COVID cases were reported Wednesday by the Department of Health.

State Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann noted all three of the people in their 30s who died of COVID-19 in cases reported Wednesday had underlying health conditions, the Star Tribune reported.

The total of newly reported cases, both confirmed and probable, came in at 2,388 on Wednesday, the lowest daily count in two weeks.

Hospitalizations, however, continue to rise, putting more pressure on the state’s short-staffed care systems. There are 990 people in Minnesota hospitals now with COVID, with 260 needing intensive care — the highest counts so far in 2021.

There are more COVID patients hospitalized in Greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities region, continuing a pattern that emerged last week.

In the nine-county local region, 114 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed and reported:

• Sibley — 27

• Brown — 25

• Nicollet — 17

• Blue Earth — 14

• Martin — 10

• Waseca — 10

• Le Sueur — 6

• Faribault — 3

• Watonwan — 2

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