MARSHALL (KMHL) – Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Lyon County.

According to numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health, Lyon County now has 158 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That was an increase of 13 that were reported yesterday.

“We’re pretty sure there are a host of reasons for the uptick here,” said Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steven Meister. “The first is that there probably is increased community spread of the virus in our area, that naturally causes an increase in the numbers.”

Mesiter warns that the virus is extremely contagious.

But he also notes that there are other factors leading to the uptick in cases as well, including testing.

“We’ve also been expanding our testing, more people are getting tested. We’re focusing predominantly on symptomatic patients being tested,” added Meister. “However, there has been some expansion of testing to people who have been involved with some of the recent protests.”

He says people need to make sure they are still taking precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by social distancing and continuing to wear a mask when in public.