The news of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 being identified in Morrison County came in the same week in which cases slowed a bit and were down slightly.
Cases decreased during the week of March 26 - April 1. It stops a trend of five straight weeks of rising cases in the county.
As of Thursday, there were 189 active cases in Morrison County for a case rate of 57.1 people infected out of every 10,000. Both those numbers are down from March 25, when they were 198 and 59.8, respectively.
Morrison County has had a total of 3,665 cases since April 2020. Of those, 92 were reported between March 26 - April 1. That represents a daily average drop of six cases from 19 to 13 from the previous week.
A total of nine people were hospitalized during the past week, putting the county at 220 total since the start of the pandemic. One new death was reported Thursday, putting Morrison County at 56 total.
Pierz, which had been the county’s hot spot, saw its number of active cases decline from 84 on March 25 to 67 Thursday. Little Falls went up, from 54 to 67, while Royalton also climbed to 23 compared to 15 one week earlier. Hillman’s active cases were down 10 to 12.
There continues to be exposures listed at Pierz Healy High School, Royalton High School and Staples-Motley High School.
More congregate living facilities with reported exposures were also included in the MDH’s list over the past week. Bridgeway Estates and Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls were added to the list, though Diamond Willow Assisted Living was removed. Pierz Villa, Harmony House of Pierz, Highland Senior Living and St. Otto’s Care Center remained on the list.
As of Tuesday, March 30, a total of 8,811 Morrison County residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — 34% of the over 16 population in the county and 938 more people than one week earlier. A total of 6,151 county residents have completed vaccinations.
Statewide, cases continued to climb as more than 2,000 were reported in a single day Thursday for the first time in several weeks. The state has also reported 6,860 total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase of 56 over the number on March 25.
About 1.683 million Minnesotans have at least started the vaccine, 38% of the population age 16 and older.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday that 30.278 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 over the past 14 months. There have been 559,098 deaths in the U.S., just shy of 8,000 over the past week.
More than 154 million vaccines have been administered nationwide, according to the CDC.