88 percent decline: B-B-E zip codes post a 2

Despite widespread lack of local COVID mandates, COVID activity plummets across the area

Note: the area zip code list has been fully updated for this web article.

A near 88-percent decline in new COVID-19 cases was reported for the Belgrade, Brooten and Elrosa zip code areas by the Minnesota Department of Health. The new case count over the past week's reporting period ending Wednesday, February 23 is a total of two.

The two local cases are broken down as follows:

Brooten 56316 - one new case (7 new last week)

Belgrade 56312 - one new case (8 new last week)

Elrosa 56325 - no new cases (1 new last week)

The 88-percent decline coincides with the lack of active COVID-19 cases at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa schools, where the COVID-19 dashboard dropped to zero-zero-zero across the board on February 15.

Across west central Minnesota, numerous zip codes posted a zero for new COVID-19 cases. A few of those zip code areas include Kerkhoven, Maynard, Murdock and Pennock. These declines have taken place despite a near-universal lack of vaccine passports or forced masking for entry to schools and businesses for this entire winter. It is unclear how that is possible when state health officials, among others, have talked nearly until they were blue in the face that forced masking and forced employment-related vaccination was necessary on a school, municipal and business-level basis in order to overcome COVID-19. According to all accounts by state or federal health officials, omicron is one of the fastest-moving viruses to ever hit the population, yet its activity in our area has all but ground to a halt while the traditional influenza season is still firmly on our calendars. This assertion is backed up by reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that between 1982 and 2020, the influenza seasons peaked most often in February (17 seasons).

Area new COVID-19 cases posted on February 24:

Eden Valley - 4 new cases (9 last week)

Willmar - 83 new cases (110 last week)

Benson - 10 new cases (27 last week)

Clara City - 7 new cases (11 last week)

Hancock - 7 new cases (7 last week)

Kandiyohi - 1 new case (2 last week)

Kerkhoven - zero new cases (1 last week)

Maynard - zero new cases (2 last week)

Morris - 12 new cases (22 last week)

Murdock - zero new cases (3 last week)

New London - 7 new cases (27 last week)

Pennock - zero new cases (3 last week)

Raymond - 7 new cases (6 last week)

Spicer - 9 new cases (16 last week)

Sunburg - 1 new case (1 last week)

Glenwood - 11 new cases (21 last week)

Melrose - 5 new cases (22 last week)

Osakis - 7 new cases (19 last week)

Paynesville - 8 new cases (15 last week)

Sauk Centre - 15 new cases (36 last week)

Starbuck - 3 new cases (18 last week)

Villard - zero new cases (1 last week).

Sidebar: as of February 24, the CDC still officially promotes this in its guidance: "universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status."


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