The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) updated its report of 14-day COVID-19 trends, showing Itasca County back up to 9.96 average positive tests per 10,000 people over a 14-day period. The county had seen a similar spike in mid-July.

As of noon Thursday, Sept. 10, a cumulative total of 226 Itasca County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 18 cases since Sept. 3.

“Our community’s case rate is important data that helps our schools determine if it is safe to proceed with in-person learning,” said Anna Anttila, public health nurse and Itasca County emergency response coordinator. “Cases continue to be reported in residents throughout Itasca County, and therefore all schools are impacted by our numbers.

“It is important for every person in our community to do their part to decrease spread of COVID-19 by staying home when ill or while waiting for test results, avoiding gatherings when possible, keeping physical distance of at least six feet, wearing a face covering while in indoor public spaces or in outdoor settings when distancing is not possible, and practicing frequent hand hygiene.”

According to Minnesota Department of Health, “Any increase in case incidence can represent a greater risk, but schools may consider a 14-day case rate of 10 or more cases per 10,000 to be an elevated risk of disease transmission within the local community, especially when the level of cases per week is sustained or increasing over time.”

Itasca residents with questions or concerns may leave them at the Itasca County COVID message line, with calls returned 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. The Itasca COVID line number is 218-327-6784.

Helpful links:

Decision tree for people in schools, youth and child care programs - https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/exguide.pdf

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