COVID-19 MOLECULAR STRUCTURE

Illustrated is an image showing the ultrastructural morphology of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness now considered a worldwide pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control has authorized expansion of COVID-19 booster doses for all adults. 

Berit Spors, director of McLeod County Health and Human Services, told the McLeod County Board on Nov. 16 plans were being made in preparation for the change. On Monday she confirmed booster shots are being offered to all eligible residents. The CDC has permitted booster shots for all Americans age 18 or older. Those who are age 50 or older, and those living in long-term care facilities, should get booster shots, according to the CDC.

At the Nov. 16 meeting, Spors told commissioners the county had administered 68 vaccine clinics. The clinics are held weekly at the McLeod County Government Center in Glencoe. They had previously offered booster shots to certain populations, including health care workers, law enforcement and those who work in a school setting, and booster shots for recipients of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine. More information can be found on the county website at tinyurl.com/mcleodvaccine.

According to data released Nov. 19 by the Minnesota Department of Health, there were 173 new reported cases of COVID-19 in McLeod County this past week. There had been 174 cases the week ending Nov. 12, and 222 the week ending Nov. 5. Spors Reported seven reinfection cases on Nov. 16.

“Twenty-three percent of those new cases are identified as children under the age of 18,” Spors said Nov. 16. “That’s the most significant population that we’re seeing the positive cases reported.”

The most recent data from Hutchinson Public Schools showed that for the week of Nov. 13-19, 34 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed among the school's 2,859 students, and 11 were confirmed among its 463 staff. Since school started, a total of 194 cases among students have been reported, and 32 among staff.

Statewide, in what is being called a fourth surge of the coronavirus, 742 school buildings have reported outbreaks, and 432 long-term care facilities report at least one case in a resident or staff. The age 10-14 category is leading in growth of confirmed cases.

No new COVID-related deaths were reported in McLeod County this past week for the first time since early October, but on Monday morning the county reported its 83rd death.

Spors reported 58.4% of county residents age 5 or older had received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 90% of residents age 65 or older had received at least one dose.

“I would call that a success,” she said.