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Morrison County’s autumn surge of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 continued this week.

For the second straight week, the county reported three deaths between Nov. 12 - 18. That means 15 of the 77 overall deaths among county residents since the start of the pandemic have occurred since Oct. 8. There were also nine new hospitalizations last week, bringing the total number of county residents hospitalized since June 2020 to 336. Of those, 57 have happened in the past six weeks.

In terms of overall cases, Morrison County reported 204 between Nov. 12 - 18, which is on par with 202 new cases the week before. The county has been averaging an increase of about 29 new infections per day over the past two weeks, and now sits at 6,441 total since its first in April 2020.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the test positivity rate for county residents was at 15.67% last week, about the same as what was seen between Nov. 5 - 11.

The county did see its number of active cases go down a bit, dropping to 344, as of Nov. 18, from 349 one week earlier. About 101.18 people out of every 10,000 in the county is currently dealing with a COVID -19 infection.

A majority of those infected in Morrison County had a Little Falls ZIP code, though the city’s number did go down slightly to 193 after it was at 202 on Nov. 11. There were 26 cases of COVID-19 among Pierz residents, as of Thursday, along with 25 in Cushing, 18 in Royalton and 15 in both Motley and Randall. Swanville (14), Bowlus (13) and Hillman (10) rounded out the cities within the county with more than 10 current infections.

As of Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) did not include any Morrison County school buildings among those with known infections of COVID-19. There were, however, five congregate living facilities on the state’s list.

Those were Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Harmony House of Pierz, Little Falls Health Services Care Center, Nouis Home Care and St. Otto’s Care Center. That list has not changed in the past two weeks.

Morrison County did see a rise in residents getting vaccinated. A total of 259 people got their first shot between Nov. 10 - 16, bringing the local number to 15,113 total. That represents 45.7% of the county’s overall population. There were also 269 people in the county who were deemed fully vaccinated during the past week, after getting their second shots. That number sits at 14,109 total Morrison County residents.

As a state, Minnesota saw an increase in overall cases during the past week, but the number of deaths did drop. MDH reported 29,268 new cases between Nov. 12 - 18. That brings the overall number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 866,055. Of those, 9,531 were deemed re-infections among those who had already had COVID-19 once. The 29,268 new cases last week included only 402 re-infections.

The state also passed another grim milestone this week, with 157 new deaths pushing the state past 9,000 since the start of the pandemic. The number of deaths between Nov. 12 - 18 was down by 18 from the week before, though the state is still averaging about 22 deaths per day.

According to MDH, about 3.572 million (79.8%) of all Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Among them, there have been 72,628 breakthrough cases — or, infections among those who have been vaccinated. Those resulted in 3,177 hospitalizations and 519 deaths.

Minnesota is trending the same way as the nation as a whole, according to the CDC.

There were more than 93,000 more new cases reported in the U.S. between Nov. 11 - 17 in comparison to the week before. In all, the 618,345 new cases last week brought the country’s total above 47.244 million since January 2020. That accounts for about 14% of population.

A total of 762,994 Americans have now died from COVID-19, with 7,793 of those being reported during the past week. That is down from the 8,496 deaths between Nov. 4 - 10.

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