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Uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 continues in Wadena and area counties

Tri-County Positivity Rate Graph Nov. 13.jpg
Graphic courtesy Tri-County Health Care

With a surge of cases in the area and across the state, Wadena County has seen 147 additional positive cases of COVID-19 between Nov. 10-17. As of Nov. 13, the COVID-19 test positivity rate is 28.4%. The positivity test rate is the number of positive tests per tests taken, in this case at Tri-County Health Care.

From Nov. 8-14 there have been 109 cases, with a case rate of 79.14, according to Wadena County Public Health director Cindy Pederson. The case rates are the number of COVID-19 positive tests per 10,000.

"Our average cases the last two days are 30 a day and that puts our rate at 153.89 per 10,000, which is significantly high and really says that we have significant, uncontrolled community spread in Wadena County," Pederson said on Nov. 17.

While some patients who tested positive for COVID-19 may no longer need to be in isolation, area counties continue to see increases in positive COVID-19 cases; from Nov. 3-13 Becker County had an additional 417 cases, Hubbard 183, Otter Tail 594, Todd 322 and Wadena 161.

As of Nov. 17, the Minnesota Department of Health reports the following cumulative positive cases of COVID-19:


  • Becker County: 1,404
  • Hubbard County: 806
  • Otter Tail County: 2,137
  • Todd County: 1,478
  • Wadena County: 577

In Wadena County, the sixth death from COVID-19 and its complications was reported by MDH on Nov. 12. The person was in the 70-74 years old range.
The first three COVID-19 deaths were reported on Oct. 21, 22 and 23 with the people in the at least 100 years old, 95-99 years old and 60-64 years old age range, according to MDH. The fourth and fifth losses were on Nov. 3 and 4 with the people in the 95-99 years old and 85-89 years old age ranges.

In area counties, Hubbard County had five additional deaths, Otter Tail County three and Todd County two from Nov. 11-17. The people were in the 65-94 years old age ranges. There were 26 newly reported deaths statewide on Nov. 17 with a total of 2,943, according to MDH. Families and friends across the state are experiencing losses with the statewide deaths averaging over 35 a day in the past week.

RELATED: MDH TXTS U 2 get 411 on contact tracing

The MDH list of schools with five or more cases of COVID-19 over a two-week period in students or staff who were in the building while infectious includes the following area county schools: Detroit Lakes Senior High; Roosevelt Elementary in Detroit Lakes; Century Middle School Within A School in Park Rapids; Park Rapids Senior High; Kennedy High School in Fergus Falls; New York Mills Secondary; Parkers Prairie Secondary; Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Elementary; Staples-Motley Senior High; and Wadena-Deer Creek Senior High. If you have a student at one of these schools, you would have received communication from the school if your student needed to quarantine based on being a close contact.

Public Health encourages the community to “stay diligent” with mitigation efforts that protect you and the community: wear a mask, keep a social distance of six feet or more, wash your hands well and often and stay home and consider getting tested if you have COVID symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. People also should not be gathering with people outside of their household, including for upcoming holidays, since it is "dangerous," as Pederson said.

The free COVID-19 testing available at the Wadena Armory is also encouraged whether people have symptoms or asymptomatic. People in the 18-35 years old age range are a focused priority since people in that age are most known to be asymptomatic, according to Pederson. People of any age can be asymptomatic. The testing will help bring better understanding to the spread of the virus in the community.

COVID-19 information

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