Itasca County residents who have been fully vaccinated are more than 10 times less likely to get COVID, be hospitalized, or end up in an Intensive Care Unit.

One-fourth (24 percent) of Itasca residents who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated have been diagnosed with infection, compared to 1.8 percent of those vaccinated who have seen breakthrough infection.

“Especially when it comes to COVID, data matters greatly. And the data for Itasca County is clear: COVID vaccines are life-saving,” said Kelly Chandler, division manager for Itasca County Public Health.

As of Oct. 14, of the 21,897 Itasca County residents of all ages who are fully vaccinated, only 401 have seen a breakthrough infection, 30 required hospitalization, six were admitted to an Intensive Care Unit and five (all over age 70) died due to COVID. For those 23,244 residents not yet fully vaccinated to date, 5,568 have been diagnosed with COVID, 387 were hospitalized, 87 admitted to an ICU and 73 passed away.

Itasca County has seen two additional deaths due to COVID, two males in their 70s, bringing the county’s total to 78.

The county’s rapid rise in cases has seen its first leveling in many weeks, with a current 14-day case rate of 96 cases per 10,000 residents. One week ago, this rate was 94.9.

Vaccines and testing remain widely available in the county through clinics, pharmacies. and public health events. Details are available at the Itasca County website, https://www.co.itasca.mn.us.

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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