Coronavirus Local

Wed
22
Jul
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Benson will wait for direction on mask mandate

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With Minnesota seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases Monday, the state may be one step closer to issuing a mask mandate. What role the City of Benson would have to play in enforcing the mandate is unknown at this point.

At its meeting Monday night, the Benson City Council agreed it didn’t want to take action to issue its own mask requirement as some cities, mostly in the metropolitan Twin Cities area, have been doing. Rather, it will ask citizens to wear masks in public places voluntarily.

However, citizen concern about the local spread of the deadly COVID-19 has been growing as the number of cases diagnosed in Swift County has risen quickly in recent days.

Wed
15
Jul
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COVID-19 cases rising quickly in Swift County

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County, which saw just two cases of COVID-19 in June, has added 15 in July – 12 of those in the past eight days.

Swift County has jumped from 20 cases July 1 to 35 cases as of Monday. More cases are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

While some of the cases are attributed to young people in their 20s and 30s getting together to party, it is also known that there is community spread of the deadly coronavirus among all ages.

The rapid increase in local cases has forced the closure of First Security’s lobby. Employees are quarantined or required to wear masks and social distance at multiple businesses in the area. The Benson Area Community Education Program shutdown summer activities youth for two weeks. However, the City of Benson kept the Benson Family Aquatic Center open...

 

Wed
08
Jul
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County added only 2 COVID-19 cases in June

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County saw its number of COVID-19 cases increase by just two in the month of June. However, it has already added two more cases in the first six days of July bringing its total to 22.

The county’s first case of the deadly disease caused by the coronavirus was recorded April 6 and then it went 24 days before the second case was recorded May 1. During the month of May, the county added 17 cases of COVID-19.

Swift County recorded its first and only death so far attributed to the disease June 5. The person who died was reported to be over 90 years old...

 

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Wed
24
Jun
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Only two COVID-19 cases in June, so far

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Though the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase in western Minnesota the number of deaths caused by the disease remains low.

Since the first cases were recorded in the five counties served by Countryside Public Health in early April, there have been just two deaths though the total number of cases has climbed to 129.

Chippewa County recorded a death from the disease caused by the coronavirus May 31 with Swift County recording its first death attributed to the disease June 5. Swift County’s death was a person who was over 90-years-old.

Minnesota has now recorded 33,227 COVID-19 cases and 1,385 deaths. What is frightening for older residents of the state and country is that a very large percentage of those deaths are among people over 70 years of age.

Wed
10
Jun
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Swift County records its first COVID-19 death

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County saw its first COVID-19 death reported Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The person was in their 90s. No other information about the case is made public by the MDH.

There were 33 new deaths reported from COVID-19 Friday with 27 residents of long-term care or nursing home facilities. Of the 1,197 COVID-19 deaths reported through Monday, 955, 80 percent, were among residents of these facilities.

COVID-19 has been particularly deadly to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Eighty-two percent of the deaths (969) have been among those over 70 years of age and 62 percent (736) among those 80 or older.

Swift County has now seen 19 COVID-19 cases, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Neighboring Kandiyohi County’s cases have climbed to 522 while Pope County has 10 cases, Chippewa County 52 and Stevens County 1...

 

Wed
13
May
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Swift County COVID-19 cases have jumped to 9

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County’s COVID-19 cases have jumped to nine as of Tuesday’s Minnesota Department of Health report. However, to the east Kandiyohi County’s cases continue to rapidly increase hitting 367. To the south, Chippewa County saw its total go from six Sunday to 21 Tuesday.

Minnesota saw it deaths from the coronavirus increase to 614. So far in May, the state has been averaging nearly 24 deaths a day from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The state is averaging 606 new cases a day this month. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state stand at 12,494 as of Tuesday.

The vast majority of the deaths due to COVID-19 are among the elderly in assistance living or nursing care facilities. As of Tuesday, 501 of the 614 deaths (80%) in the state had been among those living in one of these facilities...

Wed
13
May
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COVID-19 creates challenges for county sheriff’s office

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When the coronavirus started spreading around the country, Swift County’s community fire departments asked Sheriff John Holtz to issue a burning ban.

“Basically, that was to limit any unnecessary calls for the departments to have to respond to,” he told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their May 4 meeting. “That would limit cross contamination from too many people in a truck.”  That ban has now been lifted, he said.

While the ban has been lifted, fire departments in the Benson area have been called to three fires in the past two weeks. There were two grass fires this past Friday, one south of Swift Falls, and the other just west of Lake John north of Benson. There was a pine woods fire in Langhei Township north of Benson April 27...

Mon
11
May
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New COVID-19 Case Information

May 11, 2020

Wed
29
Apr
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SCBHS continues to prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 cases in Swift County

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Each time the numbers are posted they are almost instantly wrong as new COVID-19 cases are identified and more people die from the deadly coronavirus.

As of Tuesday morning, Minnesota’s Department of Health had confirmed 301 deaths in the state with 4,181 cases identified.

For now, western Minnesota has only seen a handful of cases. Swift County has had just one case of COVID-19 while Pope, Stevens and Grant counties have yet to record a single case. Chippewa County has had two cases. But to our east, Kandiyohi County has seen its number of cases rapidly jump to 64.

A second positive test of COVID-19 in Swift County was confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health Tuesday morning.

Wed
22
Apr
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SEOC UPDATE #26: AS GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES COVID-19 TESTING BREAKTHROUGH, OTHER IMPORTANT WORK CONTINUES

Gov. Tim Walz called a ramp up in COVID-19 testing announced today “one tool in a toolbox that leads us in the right direction.” The new statewide testing strategy aims to test all symptomatic people, isolate confirmed cases, and expand contact tracing tools.

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