County releasing daily updates by city
As of Tuesday, Burnsville and West St. Paul continued to lead Dakota County in the number and rate of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Burnsville had far more confirmed cases than any city, a pattern that has held since Dakota County Public Health began releasing the data about two weeks ago. The data are updated daily from Monday through Friday.
As of Tuesday, Burnsville had 312 cases. West St. Paul was a distant second with 196, followed by Eagan with 181.
But West St. Paul had nearly twice the number of cases per 10,000 residents than the next-highest cities. West St. Paul had 93.1, followed by Burnsville with 49.8, South St. Paul with 49.3 and Inver Grove Heights/Sunfish Lake with 49.
It’s difficult to pin down reasons for the numbers, according to Melanie Countryman, the county’s epidemiologist and senior informatics specialist.
“Certainly the numbers get impacted when there’s an outbreak in a long-term care facility or a workplace or someplace like that,” Countryman said. “But sometimes we just don’t know. And if we said anything, we’d be speculating.”
West St. Paul has had an outbreak at a long-term care facility, Countryman said. She said she’s not aware of any in Burnsville.
The county’s third-largest city, Burnsville had more cases than the second-largest, Lakeville (91) and the largest, Eagan (181).
Eagan had 26.5 cases per 10,000 residents and Lakeville had 14.1.
Whites comprise 40 percent of the county’s cases, followed by blacks (22 percent) and Hispanics (20 percent).
According to 2019 U.S. Census data, Burnsville is 72.7 percent white, 13.5 percent black or African-American and 7.9 percent Hispanic or Latino.
Lakeville, by comparison, is 87.3 percent white, 2.5 percent black or African-American and 4.8 percent Hispanic or Latino.
Eagan is 78.5 percent white, 8.3 percent black or African-American and 5 percent Hispanic or Latino.
People ages 30 to 39 comprise the largest single group of cases (20 percent), followed by 20 to 29 (17 percent), 40 to 49 (17 percent), 50 to 59 (15 percent), 70 and older (14 percent), 60 to 69 (8 percent), 6 to 19 (7 percent) and zero to 5 (2 percent).
Countryman said the county sought permission from the state to release the city data.
“The public has been asking for it,” she said. “And it’s helpful to cities to understand what’s going on in their jurisdiction.”
The data capture only cases confirmed through testing.
“Before you get tested you could still be spreading disease,” Countryman said.
People who test positive are interviewed for information on contact tracing and where they might have been exposed, Countryman said. Most interviews are done by the state, but Dakota County has done more than 170 and has 36 staff members trained for the job, she said.
As of Tuesday, Apple Valley had 135 cases, Rosemount had 64 and Farmington had 40.
Eagan had 26.5 cases per 10,000 people, Rosemount had 26.3, Apple Valley had 25.3, Farmington had 17.5 and Lakeville had 14.1.
The report does not separate the number of Dakota County deaths attributed to COVID-19 by municipality. As of Wednesday, 59 Dakota County deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.
The county’s COVID-19 data dashboard is at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/a654394207ac44239af0792303664db3/