The Free Press

MANKATO — Area counties combined for only 23 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, continuing the trend of low numbers in recent weeks.

The 23 new cases between June 19-25 came after the south-central region had 24 during the previous week.

Both totals were among the lowest during any week since the first cases were confirmed in the region in mid-March 2020.

No weeks over roughly the last month had more than 33 new cases. Overall during the pandemic, the region has averaged about 54 new cases per day.

Faribault County’s 10 new cases were the most in the region this week. Blue Earth County had the next most with five.

Two new cases confirmed Friday contributed to this week’s low total. Blue Earth and Martin counties each had one in the Minnesota Department of Health’s latest update.

Friday was the 27th straight day the region had fewer than 10 new daily cases. Before then, the last time area counties had a day with fewer than 10 new cases was in June 2020.

Although no area counties had new COVID-19 deaths Friday, there were 11 more confirmed statewide. Minnesota’s pandemic death toll rose to 7,572.

The last time the state had a day with more confirmed COVID-19 deaths was June 11, which had 12. Deaths have been on the decline as vaccinations picked up across the state, especially among Minnesotans age 65 and older.

South-central Minnesota’s vaccine progress ticked up slightly Friday. About 59% of area residents 16 and older, 110,495 people, now have at least one dose.

About 56.3% of the same demographic are completely vaccinated, or 105,444 people.

Statewide, about 66.6% of residents 16 and older have at least one dose. About 62.8% are completely vaccinated.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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