ST. PAUL -- Stearns County has confirmed 68 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death, according to numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The state has been administering free coronavirus tests since Tuesday in St. Joseph, which might explain the spike in confirmed cases.

Sherburne County has 18 new cases and Benton County has 17 more positive cases. Statewide there are 1,276 new cases.

The person who died in Stearns County is someone in their early 60s. There are eight more deaths in the state bringing the death toll up to 2,107.

On Thursdays, MDH updates the numbers for COVID cases in our schools. Buildings with five or more confirmed cases in the past two weeks include ROCORI High School in Cold Spring and an elementary school in Willmar. There are 11 school buildings throughout the state with at least five cases. The state says 703 school buildings have at least one case with a total of 1,315 cases being reported among the staff and students.

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