COVID-19 cases rising in western Minnesota

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By Reed Anfinson

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In just the first five days of April, Swift County has seen 17 new cases of the COVID-19 disease reported by the Minnesota Department of Health. And, that number is short a day since MDH didn’t report COVID cases or vaccinations Easter Sunday.

If it keeps up that pace, it will see more than 100 new cases by the end of the month making it the third worst month for new cases during the pandemic. Swift County saw a record 368 cases in November and 184 in December. There are worries that the state is seeing another surge that will not only bring new cases, but also a spike in new deaths.

While case numbers are rising in the county so are the number of vaccinations. Nearly 40 percent of the population of the county has now received a first dose of the vaccine while 26.7 percent have completed their vaccinations. Nearly four times as many county residents have received a first dose of the vaccine as have had COVID-19.

Minnesota is now vaccinating all residents 16 years of age and older. The Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only for those 18 years old while the Pfizer vaccine can also be given to 16 and 17 years old.

Countryside Public Health is currently administering the Moderna vaccine, a two-dose series, for ages 18 and up.    Countryside provides public health services to Swift, Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose, and the two-dose Moderna vaccine are available at Swift County-Benson Health Services. Local pharmacies have also had the vaccine, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

To schedule an appointment for a vaccine clinic through Countryside Public Health, go to its website at www.countrysidepublichealth.org/covid-19-information or call 1-800-657-3291, ext. 233 to speak with someone on the vaccine intake line. 

To schedule an appoint at SCBHS, call the clinic at 320-843-2030 or the hospital at 320-843-4232.

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