Graphic provided by Minnesota Department of Health

The rate of new COVID-19 infections continues to drop, although many still fight its devastating effects.  A man in his 70s passed away this week due to the disease.

“Our sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to this devastating disease and those who fight its long-lasting effects,” said Kelly Chandler, Itasca County Public Health division manager.  “We honor those who have suffered loss by staying strong to the end of this battle.”

Itasca County’s 14-day rate per 10,000 residents has fallen to 15.1 as of Jan. 29, a rate not seen here since mid-September.

New cases of COVID-19 among Itasca County residents over the past seven days total 39; over the past 14 days the total was 72.

More than nine percent of Itasca residents have received COVID vaccines, a total of 4,195 first vaccines, as of Jan. 30.  More than one-fourth of those vaccinated also have received their second dose.

Vaccination of school and childcare staff is beginning in Itasca County, although supplies so far have been limited.  Eligible recipients will be notified directly by their employers or from the county when it is their turn.

Health care providers also have begun to receive supplies for their older patients and are communicating directly with them as supplies become available.  Public health workers also will provide vaccines for those over age 65 and will issue public announcements of clinics, although this won’t be for a few weeks.

For those over age 65 who are willing and able to travel to Duluth or Minneapolis, two large vaccination sites now are available depending on supply.  More information may be found at the state’s COVID site (

Steps an individual can take to get ready for vaccination include: 1) ensure that you have a primary care physician and that you are signed up for any communication tools offered by your clinic, and 2) decide whether or not you will choose to take the vaccine so that you don’t miss your turn when it comes.

Itasca residents with questions or concerns may leave them at the Itasca County COVID message line, with calls returned 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Calls regarding vaccine availability will not be returned due to constantly changing situation. The Itasca COVID line number is 218-327-6784.  Current local data and information also can be found at the county’s website here:





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