The latest 14-day case rate by county was released today at 11am and it is showing that a number of counties are beginning to trend back up in the area where distance learning for students could come back into play. Waseca County in the latest report has the highest rate per 10,000 residents in the state of Minnesota at 92.51 cases. The report reflects an increase in the number of counties over the distance learning threshold of 50 cases per 10,000 county residents. Last week's report showed only 1 county, Waseca, over 50 cases per 10,000, this week it shows that number has climbed to 4.

Part of the continued surge in Waseca county has to deal with numbers being reported at the Waseca Federal Prison. In the latest report from the Bureau of Prisons there are 205 inmates and 2 staff members currently affected by COVID-19, and so far this year there have been 418 confirmed cases in inmates out of 560 tests conducted.

The other three counties over the 50 cases per 10,000 resident threshold are:

Big Stone - 55.82
Lincoln - 54.32
Swift - 52.07

The data is used by schools to determine what type of education model they might use over a period of time during COVID-19. Below is the chart that shows what model from in-person school to all distance learning to use based on case rates.

Image Credit: Minnesota Department of Health

Some area counties have shown a decrease in cases over the last several weeks. Blue Earth County had a high case rate of 57.30 for the week of 8/23-9/5 and this last set of data puts the county at 26.99 cases per 10,000 residents. Similarly, Steele County has seen a reduction from 19.09 to 14.72 cases over the same time period. Here are the latest numbers in terms of case rates per 10,000 residents by county in our area in alphabetical order. You can view the whole report here. 

Blue Earth - 26.99
Dakota - 16.36
Dodge - 21.38
Fillmore - 9.57
Freeborn - 31.12
Goodhue - 12.33
Houston - 15.00
Le Sueur - 12.86
Mower - 23.74
Olmsted - 12.61
Rice - 11.56
Scott - 18.83
Steele - 14.72
Wabasha - 21.86
Waseca - 92.51
Winona - 29.50