Increase in local COVID cases continues

Local News

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Faribault and Martin counties.

One reason for the omicron-driven wave may be the low vaccination rates of each county.

According to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data, 56.4 percent of Faribault County’s residents are fully vaccinated and in Martin County it’s 55.5 percent.

In January, both counties saw an increase in the number of confirmed cases every week of the month.

Martin County had 18 residents who needed to be hospitalized, while Faribault County had eight.

“The more unvaccinated people you have, the higher death and hospitalization rates you’ll see,” says MDH official Doug Schultz. “Those who are not fully vaccinated have a hospitalization rate that’s 10 times higher than people who are.”

Faribault County had 534 new cases last month to bring the total number of cases to 3,281, compared to Martin County’s 675 for 4,639 cases.

MDH statistics show that Faribault County’s cases of 232 in the final week of January was 73 percent higher than the previous week. Martin County had a 56 percent increase for the same period.

Since the pandemic began, Martin County has reported 54 deaths and Faribault County has had 45, which is the highest COVID-19 death rate among the nine counties in south-central Minnesota at about 33 per 10,000 residents.

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