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COVID-19 infections dropped dramatically in Morrison County during the past week.

After seeing an uptick the week before, only 38 new cases were reported in the county between May 7 - 13. That is less than half of the 84 added between April 30 - May 6. In all, Morrison County has seen 4,182 cases over the past 13 months.

A large portion of the decrease is due to a drop in spread among residents living in the Little Falls ZIP code. That population accounted for 78 of the county’s 146 total active cases on May 6, but dropped to 42 of 102 active cases on May 13.

Cases in Royalton also dropped during the past week, going from 25 to 12, as of Thursday. Pierz also has a total of 12 active cases, while Swanville has eight and both Bowlus and Randall sit at six.

Another area where numbers fell locally was in hospitalizations. One person was admitted during the May 7 - 13 reporting period, following a week in which seven were hospitalized. Morrison County did not report a death for the second consecutive week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 254 county residents have been hospitalized and 60 have died due to COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) now has six Morrison County schools on its list of K-12 facilities with a known exposure. Pierz High School, Little Falls Community High School, Royalton High School, Swanville Secondary School and Pioneer Elementary were all holdovers from the previous week. As of this week, Lincoln Elementary in Little Falls is also on the list.

St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls was also put back on the list of congregate living spaces on MDH’s list. It joins Bridgeway Estates and Little Falls Health Service Care Center to put the county at three such facilities with a known exposure.

In its effort to stomp out the spread of COVID-19, 11,535 Morrison County residents age 16 and up — about 44% of that population — had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, as of Tuesday, May 11. That was an increase of 228 over the total on May 4, and did not include numbers from a vaccination clinic hosted by Morrison County Public Health on Wednesday.

In all, 558 more people in Morrison County completed their vaccinations, bringing the county’s total to 10,185.

The local vaccination numbers do significantly lag behind those of the state as a whole. About 61% of Minnesota adults have received at least one shot, as of Tuesday, according to MDH. About 2.229 million Minnesotans have completed the full panel.

As such, the number of newly reported cases dropped by nearly 3,000 between May 7 - 13 when compared to the week before. Of Minnesota’s 591,445 total infections, 7,218 were reported within the last week. That is down 3,071 from the 10,289 cases reported between April 30 - May 6.

Statewide, deaths remained relatively steady, with 70 reported during the past week. That brings the total number of Minnesotans who have died from COVID-19 to 7,274.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 58.7% of American adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Since the virus first made landfall in the U.S. in January 2020, 32.608 million Americans have been infected and 580,073 have died, according to the CDC.

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