25 Minnesota counties with COVID-19 case rate high over threshold for full distance learning

The number of Minnesota counties with a COVID-19 case rate high enough for the state to recommend full distance learning for students at all grade levels continues to increase, according to the latest data from the state health department. 

The Minnesota Department of Health released its latest county-by-county data Thursday. Over Labor Day, there were 70 counties with fewer than 20 cases per 10,000 residents. The latest data, which is for a two-week reporting period ending Oct. 17, shows there are now just seven counties under that number. 

Twenty-five counties have a case rate of over 50 cases per 10,000 residents—the case rate at which MDH recommends schools within those counties move to a distance learning model for all students. Last week, there were 19 counties with case rates high enough to meet the threshold for full distance learning. 

All 25 of the counties with case rates of over 50 cases per 10,000 residents are outside the Twin Cities metro.

  • Rock: 120.05
  • Chippewa: 111.57
  • Kandiyohi: 92.36
  • Morrison: 85.59
  • Clay: 82.96
  • Wadena: 80.61
  • Hubbard: 78.61
  • Todd: 78.56
  • Murray: 73.03
  • Mahnomen: 70.83
  • Nobles: 70.52
  • Wilkin: 66.21
  • Stearns: 65.68
  • Lincoln: 64.83
  • Mille Lacs: 64.13
  • Big Stone: 61.80
  • Lac Qui Parle: 57.58
  • Clearwater: 56.74
  • Benton: 54.30
  • Red Lake: 52.40
  • Polk: 52.23
  • Chisago: 51.53
  • Lyon: 51.47
  • Pipestone: 51.17
  • Becker: 50.04

As of Thursday, 46 schools in Minnesota have reported five or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff who were in-person learning, according to the latest MDH data. 

The confirmed cases involve students or staff who were in the school building while infectious during a two-week period. MDH says five or more cases among school or staff indicates likely transmission in a school. 

Twelve of the schools are in the Twin Cities metro area.