Area counties saw two additional deaths from COVID-19 and its complications from Feb. 17-23.

On Feb. 20, one person in Hubbard County who was in the 95-99 years old age range and one person in Wadena County in the 90-94 years old age range passed away, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

For the second day in a row, the newly reported deaths statewide included one person with a total of 6,434 deaths from COVID-19 and its complications as of Feb. 23, according to MDH.

From Feb. 16-23, Becker County had 57 additional positive cases; Hubbard 10; Otter Tail 45; Todd 48 and Wadena 16. From Feb. 9-16, Becker County had 36 additional positive cases; Hubbard 26; Otter Tail 34; Todd 25 and Wadena 31.

As of Feb. 10, community spread across the state is high, with 44% of cases not being linked to an outbreak or another case.

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To help lower the virus spread and limit the spread of variants, here are some ways you can protect others and yourself: wear a mask, keep a social distance of 6 feet or more, wash your hands well and often and stay home and consider getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available based on priority groups. The general public is not in the current priority group. The increased access does not increase vaccine supply. Minnesota has a "very limited supply," according to the state website. Health care workers, school teachers, staff and child care workers and people 65 years old and above are in the first priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccines available for priority group of people 65 years old and above:

  • Thrifty White Pharmacy: Appointments available on their website. Please do not call your local pharmacy. Bring your insurance card and a mask.
  • Walmart: Appointments available at www.walmart.com/covidvaccine. You must have an appointment.

  • Wadena County Public Health: Residents in the priority group can be added to the waiting list, call 218-631-7629. Public Health would then contact you if and when an appointment is available for receiving the vaccine.
  • Lakewood Health System: Call 218-894-1515 and choose option 2 to be added to the waiting list.
  • Perham Health: Appointments are being scheduled as supply is available. Call the clinic for more information at 218-347-1200.

Tri-County Health Care and Otter Tail County Public Health do not have waitlists.

A state tool is available to receive a notification when you might be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. On the online form, you will fill out your demographic details, medical history and contact information. When you are in the priority group for vaccines, you would get an email, phone call or text message. You can fill out the form at vaccineconnector.mn.gov/.

As you are waiting for your vaccines and after you have been vaccinated, it is important to continue wearing a mask, washing your hands, physically distancing and staying home when you are sick. These practices will be important until enough people have received the vaccines.

As of Feb. 23, the MDH reports the following cumulative positive cases of COVID-19:

  • Becker County: 3,068 cases
  • Hubbard County: 1,597
  • Otter Tail County: 4,787
  • Todd County: 2,438
  • Wadena County: 1,281

Some patients who tested positive for COVID-19 may no longer need to be in isolation. As of Feb. 18, Becker County had 2,933 cases not requiring isolation, Hubbard County 1,525, Otter Tail County 4,640, Todd County 2,342 and Wadena County 1,216.

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COVID-19 information