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The Free Press and MPR News

MANKATO — A Nicollet County resident in their late 40s has died from COVID-19, raising the nine-county region’s pandemic death toll to 273.

The Nicollet County resident was the youngest person among the 24 deaths reported across the state Thursday.

There 10 deaths in the region so far in September — tying the region’s total for all of August. Three of those deaths were reported this week, including a Brown County resident on Monday and a Le Sueur County resident on Wednesday.

Nicollet County now holds the title of most deaths in the region since the start of the pandemic: 48. Blue Earth County is now second in the region with 47.

But Nicollet County is still in the middle of the pack regionally with its death rate of 14 per 10,000 residents. Faribault County still has the highest area death rate of 18 per 10,000.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported more than 1,800 confirmed and over 600 probable cases of the coronavirus Wednesday.

There were 103 confirmed cases in the region Thursday. That’s up from Wednesday but down from the prior Thursday. Cases in each county:

•Waseca County: 19

•Nicollet County: 17

•Martin County: 17

•Blue Earth County: 16

•Brown County: 9

•Faribault County: 8

•Le Sueur County: 7

•Sibley County: 7

•Watonwan County: 3

Statewide, Thursday’s daily count of known, active cases came in at more than 17,000, down slightly from earlier in the week but still hovering at levels not seen since April.

Current hospital and intensive care needs have risen during this most recent wave — 777 people are in hospital beds currently with COVID-19, including 214 ICU cases.

Those counts have ticked down in recent days, although they’re still higher than in the April surge.

The number of local COVID-19-related hospitalizations over the past week include 14 in Blue Earth County, eight in Brown County and four in Waseca County, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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