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Lyon Co. among several area counties with new COVID-19 deaths

MARSHALL — A sixth death due to COVID-19 has been reported in Lyon County, the Minnesota Department of Health said — and Lyon County was one of four southwest Minnesota counties with new reported deaths on Friday.

A Lyon County resident in their early 60s has died of COVID-19, the MDH reported. There were also reported deaths in Redwood County, where a person in their 70s died; in Renville County, where a person in their late 80s died; and in Yellow Medicine County, where a person older than 100 died.

Redwood County has a total of 10 reported COVID-19 deaths, while Renville County has had 11, the MDH reported. Yellow Medicine County has had a total of five deaths.

The news comes as community spread of the coronavirus continues in southwestern Minnesota counties. The MDH and area public health officials said they will be holding another free community testing event in Tyler on Oct. 27.

“Testing uncovers positive cases earlier and slows the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The longer it takes for someone to find out they’re positive, the more likely it is they can unknowingly spread it to others,” said Lincoln and Lyon County Emergency Manager Amber Scholten.

Lyon County had an additional nine residents test positive for the coronavirus, the MDH reported Friday. That brings Lyon County’s cumulative total to 894 cases of COVID-19, and two probable cases. Redwood County has had a total of 231 positive cases; Renville County has had a total of 213 positive cases and three probable cases; and Yellow Medicine County has had 259 positive cases and one probable case.

The MDH said COVID-19 spread has increased this fall. This week, a total of nine Minnesota counties had COVID-19 rates high enough to meet state guidelines recommending schools switch to distance learning. Lyon County was on the list, as were Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Martin, Murray, Pipestone, Waseca and Yellow Medicine Counties. Some area schools have had to postpone or cancel athletic games due to team members being in quarantine.

Keeping schools open is an important reason to continue testing and identifying positive COVID-19 cases, said organizers of the Tyler testing event.

Positive cases staying hidden can lead to more spread in the community, and have negative effects on both schools and the economy.

Organizers said the Tyler event will be from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 27, at the Rock Christian youth center. To avoid long lines, community members are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot at https://www.primarybio.com/r/tyler.

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