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Update: 3 new COVID-19 deaths, 70 new cases confirmed in Winona County Thursday
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Update: 3 new COVID-19 deaths, 70 new cases confirmed in Winona County Thursday

From the COLLECTION: Winona COVID-19 cases and updates series
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A heartbreaking three new COVID-19 deaths and 70 new cases — one of which is listed as probable — were confirmed in Winona County by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

It’s the highest single-day increase in deaths locally since April.

“Our job here is to report the numbers, but deaths are never just a number to us. We’re sad for the loss of these folks and for their grieving families and loved ones,” city of Winona staff said in a post on its COVID-19 information Facebook page Thursday.

“Deaths here at home are sobering reminders of the heavy toll COVID is taking on our communities, and we hope too a reminder of why it’s so important to stay vigilant and do the right thing—mask up, back up, and at this point avoid non-essential trips and travel,” the post read.

With Thursday’s spike in cases, which has been a clear trend in November across the state, the current 14-day case rate per 100,000 people in the community continues to increase to new heights.

The 70 new cases is close behind the current single-day record that was set a week ago on Nov. 12. On that day 71 new cases were confirmed, plus two were transferred to the county’s total from another county.

Thursday’s high spike follows a day of slight relief as 20 cases were recorded Wednesday, the lowest day for the county so far this month.

The city said in the same post that the rate is now estimated to be between 141 to 143, which is more than 500% higher than what the rate was earlier this fall.

The official current rate will not be released for quite some time from MDH, as the department normally releases the rates about two weeks after the time period included.

The county’s totals are now at 2,260 cases — two of which are probable — with 25 deaths.

The three new deaths in the county include one person between 80 and 84 years old; one between 90 and 94 years old; and one between 95 and 99 years old.

Of the 70 new cases in the county, one is younger than 4 years old; one is 5 to 9 years old; four are 10 to 14 years old; six are 15 to 19 years old; eight are 20 to 24 years old; six are 25 to 29 years old; three are 30 to 34 years old; five are 35 to 39 years old; four are 40 to 44 years old; five are 45 to 49 years old; five are 50 to 54 years old; four are 55 to 59 years old; seven are 60 to 64 years old; one is 65 to 69 years old; four are 70 to 74 years old; one is 75 to 79 years old; four is 80 to 84 years old; and one is 85 to 89 years old.

On Wednesday evening, Winona County Emergency Management released data about the county’s first 2,190 COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.

Since the Nov. 12, 308 of those cases had been diagnosed — about 14%.

Of these new cases, the majority were between 18 and 24 years old. Sixty-nine or about 22% of the new cases were in this age range.

The next largest impacted age range, which was the only other one with more than 40 cases, was people between 50 and 59 years old with 49 cases or about 16%.

No 10-year age gap between zero to 79 years old included less than 15 cases in the past week, with people 80 years old or older counting for 14 cases.

There were 543 people in isolation Wednesday in the county, with 1,625 having recovered.

The most common age group in isolation was people between 18 and 24 with 126 cases or about 23%.

The majority of the people in isolation live in the city of Winona, where 360 cases were.

Overall, in the past week, five communities in the county had more than 10 people test positive: 14 cases in the 55910 postal code, which includes Altura and other smaller towns; 11 cases in 55925, which includes Dakota and Nodine; 21 cases in 55959, which includes Minnesota City, Goodview and Whitman; 51 cases in 55972, which includes Saratoga and Saint Charles; and 186 cases in 55987, which includes Winona and multiple nearby smaller towns.

November, so far, is the month with the highest-case increase since the start of the pandemic, even with a week and a half left.

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As of Wednesday, 810 cases have been diagnosed since the start of November in Winona County.

This high increase follows along with a growing trend, as September had 454 cases and October had 459.

Prior to the fall, August had the biggest increase with 228, a high increase compared to July’s 121.

The age range for all of the county’s first 2,190 cases — which includes 54% females — is between younger than 10 to older than 100 years old, with a median age of 27.

The age range is the same for the non-hospitalized cases, but the median age is 41.

Twenty-two residents have been hospitalized because of COVID-19, with the age range being younger than 10 to 85 and the median age being 64.5.

Nine of these residents have spent time in an intensive-care unit, with the age range of those patients being younger than 65 to younger than 85. The median age is 67.

The age range of the first 22 deaths was younger than 75 to older than 100 with a median age of 84.5.

The county’s infection rate based on population was at 4.311% as of Wednesday, up from the previous week’s of 3.705%.

This rate is higher than any other county in southeastern Minnesota except for Mower County, which has a rate of 5.153%, and Rice County, which has a rate of 4.588%.

Winona County’s test positivity rate was at 4.9% as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In Houston County, 19 new COVID-19 — one of which was defined as probable — were confirmed by MDH Thursday, along with no new deaths.

The county’s total is now at 543 cases — seven of which are probable — with two deaths.

Houston County’s infection rate based on population was 2.781% as of Wednesday.

The county’s test positivity rate was at 6% as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In Minnesota, 7,877 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Thursday.

The cases bring the state’s total to 249,906, including 19,197 health care workers, with 198,365 patients no longer needing to be isolated.

Statewide, 3,601,197 COVID-19 tests have been completed, with 2,233,137 residents having been tested.

A record 72 new deaths, breaking Wednesday’s 67 death record, were reported in the state, bringing the total to 3,082.

Of these people, 2,117 resided in long-term care or assisted-living facilities.

Statewide, 14,171 people have required hospitalization because of COVID-19, with 3,346 having spent time in an intensive care unit.

For daily Minnesota COVID-19 situation updates, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.

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