After seeing a big surge in new COVID-19 cases in mid-late November, new cases in Minnesota are steadily declining and are one-third of what they were the first week of December. Unfortunately, deaths from COVID-19 have not declined at the same rate and numbered 410 in the past week.

During that same time period, the state added 17,470 new cases, which is a drop of 8,219 cases from the previous week. The state also reported 410 deaths, which is down from the previous two weeks but still higher than the last week of November. To date, Minnesota has reported 399,311 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started.

Sibley County added 29 new cases in the past week, bringing its total to 943. The county did not report any new deaths and is holding at four.

According to the Star Tribune’s COVID-19 tracker data, Henderson’s zip code added 3 new cases in the past week to bring its total to 130. Gaylord has reported 247 cases (increase of 9), Arlington has 209, (an increase of 22), Winthrop has 130 (increase of 6), Gibbon has 97 (an increase of 1), and New Auburn has 16 (an increase of 2). Green Isle had one case get removed in the past week, reducing its total cases to 89.

Le Sueur County added 81 new cases in the past week, bringing its total to 1,850 cases. The county also reported one new death, bringing its total to 14. According to the Star Tribune’s COVID-19 tracker data, the city of Le Sueur added 12 new cases in the past week, bringing its total to 421 cases.

Le Sueur County’s 14-day case rate has continued to decline and is at 114.00 for the time period of Nov. 22- Dec. 6. This is a drop from last week’s 130.08, but still more than double the rate that would require distance learning for all students.

Scott County added 361 cases in the past week, bringing its total to 10,319. Scott County also reported two new deaths to bring its total to 73. According to the Star Tribune’s COVID-19 tracker data, Belle Plaine added 39 cases in the past week to bring its total to 678 cases.

The state reported a couple of changes in affected schools in the past week. Henderson’s Hilltop Elementary School has been removed from the list of affected facilities, while GFW Elementary in Gibbon, GFW Junior-Senior High in Winthrop and Sibley East Elementary in Gaylord remain.

In Le Sueur County, Cleveland Elementary School has been newly added and joins Tri-City United High School in Montgomery.

There were no changes in Scott County and Prior Lake High School and Shakopee Area Catholic School remain on the list of affected schools.

Schools are listed if they have reported five or more confirmed COVID-19 cases in students or staff in the building while infectious during a two-week period.


The state conducted 298,553 tests in the past week, bringing its total to 5,232,347 tests on approximately 2,870,337 people.

To date, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 4,872 Minnesotans. Of the 410 deaths that occurred in the past week, 243 (59.2 percent) occurred in long-term or assisted living facilities. To date, 3,160 deaths, or 64.8 percent, have been in long-term care or assisted living facilities. At the same time, there have been 15,203 cases in those facilities (a one-week increase of 870), which is 3.8 percent of all cases statewide.

Of Minnesota’s total 399,311 cases, 30,569 (an increase of 1,919) have been in health care workers and 373,301 (93.5 percent) no longer need isolation. In the past week, 991 people have been hospitalized, bringing the cumulative total to 20,629 since the pandemic started. The state also reported 169 patients needing ICU hospitalization, bringing the cumulative total to 4,424.

A number of congregate care facilities in the area have reported COVID-19 exposure in the last 28 days. Exposure is defined as a person diagnosed with COVID-19 who visited, worked or lived at the facility while contagious.

Sibley County added three new facilities in the past week. Affected facilities include Golden Hearts (new), Good Samaritan Society Arlington (new), Oak Terrace Gaylord (new), The Lodge of Winthrop, Good Samaritan Society Winthrop and Oak Terrace Health Care Center.

Le Sueur County added one new facility and had one facility drop off in the past week. Affected facilities include Praha Village (new), Traditions of Waterville, Traditions of Montgomery, and Ridgeview Le Sueur Nursing & Rehab Center.

Scott County added two new facilities in the past week and had one drop off. Affected facilities include Kingsway Retirement Living (new), The Lutheran Home (new), Benedictine Living Community of Shakopee, Oak Terrace Senior Housing of Jordan, The Gardens at St. Gertrudes, Lutheran Home Belle Plaine, Savage Senior Living, All Saints Senior Living, Mala Strana Care and Rehab Center, McKenna Crossing and St. Gertrude’s Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Demographics for deaths compared to total number of cases is as follows:

• Age 100+: 77 deaths (an increase of 6); 279 total cases (increase of 15)

• Ages 90-99: 1,194 deaths (an increase of 88); 4,954 cases (increase of 254)

• Ages 80-89: 1,712 deaths (an increase of 152); 11,942 cases (increase of 563)

• Ages 70-79: 1,051 deaths (an increase of 100); 20,463 cases (increase of 916)

• Ages 60-69: 531 deaths (an increase of 43); 39,573 cases (increase of 1,844)

• Ages 50-59: 203 deaths (an increase of 9); 57,235 cases (increase of 2,560)

• Ages 40-49: 65 deaths (an increase of 8); 57,666 cases (increase of 2,471)

• Ages 30-39: 29 deaths (no increase); 65,502 cases (increase of 2,979)

• Ages 20-29: 9 deaths (an increase of 1); 76,792 cases (increase of 2,900)

• Ages 5-19: No deaths reported; 56,926 cases (increase of 2,517)

• Ages 0-4: 1 death (no increase); 7,904 cases (increase of 447)

As it stands, the top 10 counties in Minnesota for cases are:

1. Hennepin: 80,981 (+3,017)

2. Ramsey: 34,568 (+1,527)

3. Dakota: 28,030 (+1,288)

4. Anoka: 26,213 (+999)

5. Washington: 17,219 (+741)

6. Stearns: 16,001 (+436)

7. St. Louis County: 11,441 (+569)

8. Scott: 10,319 (+361)

9. Wright: 9,810 (+417)

10. Olmsted: 8,665 (+525)

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