Nearly half (47 percent) of Itasca County’s elders over age 65 have received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.  Across all ages, 18 percent of Itasca County residents age 16 and older have received at least their first dose.

Unfortunately, the area has seen the death of an additional male resident in his 60s due to COVID, raising the virus’ death toll here to 46.

New cases of COVID-19 continue their rise in Itasca County, the third week in a row.  Over the past seven days, 69 new cases have been identified among county residents and 107 over the past 14 days, outpacing neighboring counties.  When measured by cases per 10,000 residents, the 14-day rate for Itasca County stands at 22.

“With vaccines, the finish line is in sight, yet we have had a three-week increase in cases in Itasca County. COVID still is here, it hasn’t gone away,” said Kelly Chandler, Itasca County Public Health division manager.  “We now have another death, and we are seeing more of our Itasca neighbors not wearing masks.  We simply can’t let up on what we know works to prevent the spread.

“Stay with us.  Stay strong.  We know it is hard, but we know you can do it.  As we grieve with the family and friends of our recently deceased community member, let us commit to doing everything we can to keep each other safe.” 

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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