Following weeks of fewer new COVID-19 infections, Itasca County saw a jump during the past week.
Between July 19 and 26, another 14 cases of COVID were identified among Itasca County residents. Only one new case had been seen the week before. The most current 14-day case rate per 10,000 residents is 2.66, up from 0.9.
Another local death, a male in his 80s, has been attributed to COVID. A total of 68 Itasca County deaths have been caused by the virus.
A more positive trend is the rising number of vaccinations of Itasca County residents. Among all those eligible, ages 12 and older, 56 percent have received at least their first dose of vaccine.
Vaccines are widely available in the county at clinics and pharmacies. Pfizer is available at Grand Itasca and Essentia Deer River; Thrifty White, Walmart, Walgreens, and Scenic Rivers are offering Moderna.
A special clinic offering the Moderna vaccine will be held on Sunday, Aug. 8, 10 - 11 a.m. at the Itasca Resource Center in Grand Rapids. Registration is online at: https://prepmod.health.state.mn.us/appointment/en/client/registration?clinic_id=.
Vaccines are proving to be extremely effective against variants of the virus, which are spreading more quickly from person to person. In Minnesota, 99.9% of new COVID cases are among those not yet vaccinated. The vaccines also have been proven to be safe, with 300 million U.S.residents now having received them.