Rates of COVID-19 in Itasca County have fallen to a point not seen since last summer, thanks to increasing vaccinations and warm weather.  Between June 8 and 14, new cases of the disease among area residents totaled 16 and the 14-day case rate per 10,000 residents dropped to 8.9 from a recent high in the mid-80s.  Against the backdrop of this good news was the unfortunate death of another Itasca County neighbor due to COVID, a female in her 90s.

More than half of all those in Itasca County currently eligible have received COVID vaccines, including 53 percent of residents over age 12 and 83 percent of those over age 65. 

All three COVID vaccines are available throughout Itasca County at clinics, hospitals and pharmacies for those ages 12 and older.  Special vaccination events hosted by Itasca County Public Health and others also may be found at the county’s website (www.co.itasca.mn.us).

Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital has teamed up with Grand Rapids High School to host a June 23 vaccination clinic for students who have not yet been vaccinated and wish to avoid missing fall sports, activities and school because of COVID exposures.  The Pfizer vaccine will be given from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. on June 23 at Grand Rapids High School Gymnasium for those 12 and older.  Required paperwork may be found at both www.isd318.org and www.granditasca.org websites.

For those who are homebound or have a loved one who is homebound, Minnesota Department of Health has created a special vaccination hotline.  MDH’s hotline will take names of those who are unable to get out to receive a vaccine, then connected them with a local vaccinator who can help.  The hotline number is 1-833-431-2053. 

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. The Itasca COVID line number is 218-327-6784.  Information about vaccination options and current local data and information may be found at the county’s website here:  https://www.co.itasca.mn.us/798/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

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