Illustrated is an image showing the ultrastructural morphology of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

An update from the Minnesota Department of Health Monday morning showed there have been 5,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in McLeod County since the pandemic began.

That data accounts for 29 new cases over the weekend, a continuation of a trend that spiked this past week when there were 209 new cases, the highest number of local cases in a week since rates picked up over the summer. There were 164 new cases the week ending Oct. 1 and 175 new cases the week ending Sept. 24.

Monday also brought the latest COVID-related death, bringing the total to 67 in McLeod County, including six in the past month. At the County Board meeting Oct. 5, it was reported there were 217 active cases that required isolation.

McLeod County continues to offer vaccines to adults, and as of early this week it had conducted 63 clinics. Its vaccine clinic this past week was the first to offer both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine. Local clinics and hospitals also offer vaccinations.

About 59% of McLeod County’s population age 12 or older have received one vaccine dose, and about 82.2% of residents age 65 or older.

The Minnesota Department of Health also tracks schools buildings that report five or more cases of COVID-19 among students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week period. The most recent data was posted Oct. 7, and included Hutchinson Middle School, Park Elementary, Hutchinson High School, West Elementary, and Lakeside Elementary in Silver Lake.

Hutchinson Public Schools tracks its cases as well and presents those numbers online along with its preparedness plan and screening information at For the week of Oct. 2-8, it reported 11 new cases among students and none among staff. Since Aug. 30 it has reported 73 cases among its 2,859 students and eight cases among its 463 staff.