As of 10:45 a.m. on Sept. 8, the first day of school for most area children, Itasca County is seeing a sustained increase in laboratory confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. According to Itasca County Public Health, 22 additional Itasca County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past eight days (since Aug. 31).

The cumulative total of Itasca Residents with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infections currently stands at 222. As reported last week, another local resident has passed away due to COVID, making the total number of county deaths 13.

Of the 222 cumulative total cases of COVID-19 in Itasca County, 67 percent have shown symptoms, 21 percent have not shown symptoms and for 12 percent this is unknown.

Based on an isolation period of 10 days from the onset of symptoms, at this time 14 Itasca County individuals are currently in their isolation period (this number could potentially be higher if anyone continues to have worsening symptoms or fever, however this information is not reported to Itasca County Public Health).

Isolation of positive persons is an important public health measure to help contain spread of COVID-19, in addition to other measures including quarantine of their close contacts. It’s also important to isolate from others as much as possible while waiting for test results.

Symptoms most common with COVID-19 are fever greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing and new loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms are sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose.

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

Online assessment tool: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/get-tested/index.jsp

Back to School Mask Drive: https://www.granditasca.org/Documents/Back-to-School-Mask-Drive-Instructions

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