As seen across the country, COVID-19 is spreading at increasing rates in Itasca County. Over the past two weeks, 179 additional cases have been identified in the county, from age five months to 98 years. The county unfortunately also saw its 70th COVID-related death, an elderly male.

The 14-day average of positive cases per 10,000 residents as of Sept. 7 is 39.2, up significantly from 28.2 the previous week. The northern portion of the county has been hit especially hard recently by COVID, with spread in a number of group settings.

Among Itasca residents who have been vaccinated, a small fraction (less than one percent) have since tested positive for the infection. Currently, 58% of Itasca residents eligible (ages 12 and older) have received at least their first dose of vaccine.

COVID vaccines and testing remain widely available in the county through clinics, pharmacies and public health events.

See CoVID, page 8

COVID

from page 1

“We’ve been here before,” said Kelly Chandler, Itasca County Public Health division manager. “Over the pandemic, Itasca County has pushed back the spread of COVID through distancing, vaccination and wearing masks. We are at that point again, where rapid spread is putting our neighbors and our kids at risk. Our choices are what will make the difference.

“It’s great to see kids in school. If we want to keep them there, it is critical that we stay home if we’re sick and get tested. And if anyone in the home is waiting on results from a COVID test, keep your kids home until you have the result. We can do this; we’ve done it before.”

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 through Friday. The Itasca COVID line number is 218-327-6784.

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