MANKATO — South-central Minnesota recorded four new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, including a 40- to 44-year-old man from Blue Earth County.
The other three deaths in the area from the disease occurred in Nicollet, Brown and Faribault counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. All three were between 75 and 79 years old.
They were among 59 confirmed COVID-19 deaths statewide, bringing Minnesota’s pandemic death toll to 11,516.
Vaccination statuses of individual deaths are not publicly available. However, vaccinated individuals have been shown to have much lower COVID-19 death rates than unvaccinated people.
Groundbreaking COVID-19 data from May through December 2021 showed fully vaccinated Minnesotans ages 18-49 had a 0.0 death rate from COVID-19. Unvaccinated residents in the same age group died at a rate of 0.7 per 100,000 during the same period.
The gap in death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated people widens further for older age groups. The COVID-19 death rate among 50 to 64-year-olds was about 10 times higher among unvaccinated Minnesotans than among fully vaccinated Minnesotans.
For Minnesotans age 65 and older, the death rate from COVID-19 was more than 11 times higher among unvaccinated Minnesotans than among vaccinated Minnesotans.
Blue Earth County’s death was its 87th from COVID-19 during the pandemic. It has the highest death toll in the nine-county area, but its much larger population gives it the lowest death rate.
Nicollet County has had 66 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic. It has the fourth lowest death rate among counties in the region.
The 71 COVID-19 deaths in Brown County and 46 in Faribault County give them the two highest death rates in the region. Faribault County has the highest rate with 33 deaths per 10,000 population, while Brown County comes second with 28 deaths per 10,000 population.
The south-central region has recorded five confirmed COVID-19 deaths so far in February.
Counties in the region also combined for 112 new confirmed cases on Wednesday. That was a sharp drop from other recent daily totals as the health department passed a statewide backlog of cases dating to late 2021.
The full list of confirmed cases by county includes:
• Blue Earth County — 32
• County of Nicollet — 17
• Brown County — 16
• Martin County — 11
• Le Sueur County — 9
• Waseca County — 8
• Watonwan County — 8
• County of Faribault — 8
• Sibley County — 3