Stock COVID 3

The Minnesota Department of Health's testing lab handles samples of COVID-19.

The Free Press and MPR News

MANKATO — Two more Waseca County residents have died from COVID-19, with all but one of the region nine counties reporting new cases Sunday, totaling 28, according to the Minnesota Department Health.

Blue Earth County had 12 new cases, bringing the total to 1,494. Martin County had five new cases, followed by four in Nicollet County, two each in Brown and Watonwan Counties and one each in Faribault, Sibley and Waseca Counties.

Le Sueur County was the only regional county with no additional cases Sunday.

The MDH reported an additional 741 new positive cases out of 21,489 tests Sunday, with a positivity rate of 3.4%. A total of 84,311 Minnesotans have been infected with the virus since the pandemic began. Over 20,000 of those were community spread with no known source.

Statewide, the death toll grew to 1,919 as 13 more Minnesotans died from the virus. The two Waseca County residents were in their 80s and 90s, and state health authorities remain particularly concerned about young adults as spreaders of the virus.

People in their 20s make up the age bracket with the state’s largest number of confirmed cases — more than 19,000 since the pandemic began, including more than 11,000 among people ages 20-24.

They’ve been driving the recent outbreaks, although the number of high school-age children confirmed with the disease has also grown, topping 7,500 total cases for children 15 to 19 years old since the pandemic began.

The reality of those worries came into focus Tuesday as Winona State University announced an immediate 14-day campus quarantine that will limit all nonessential activities on campus for the next two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

While less likely to feel the worst effects of the disease, experts worry youth and young adults will spread it to grandparents and other vulnerable populations and could also hamper attempts to reopen campuses completely to in-person teaching.

Dan Greenwood is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at dgreenwood@mankatofreepress.com

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