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The Free Press

MANKATO — South-central Minnesota’s uptick in new COVID-19 cases remained in the single digits Tuesday for the 10th straight day.

Area counties combined for just four newly confirmed cases in the Minnesota Department of Health’s latest update.

The nine-county region hasn’t combined for 10 or more new cases since May 28. April 2020 was the last time the region had such a long stretch in the single digits.

There were again no new COVID-19 deaths confirmed in the region Tuesday. Minnesota had two more COVID-19 deaths statewide, however, raising the pandemic toll to 7,469.

Of the four new cases in area counties, Sibley County had two of them. Blue Earth and Faribault counties each had one.

Six other area counties had no new cases. It’s becoming increasingly common for most counties in the region to have zero newly reported cases, although Mondays and Tuesdays historically have the week’s lowest case totals due to reporting lags from the weekend.

Overall, low positivity rates, case counts and hospitalizations keep pointing to a much improved pandemic situation in the region and statewide. The improvements coincide with when vaccinations ramped up in Minnesota, but progress slowed down in recent weeks.

South-central Minnesota had about 58% of its 16-and-older population vaccinated with at least one dose as of Tuesday. About 54.2% of the 16-and-older population was completely vaccinated.

Statewide, about 65.3% of the same age group has at least one dose. About 60.1% of the state’s 16-and-older population is completely vaccinated.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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