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10 Northlanders dead from COVID-19 in past 7 days

The 10-county region recorded 1,028 cases between Dec. 23 and 29.

FSA Coronavirus local

Ten COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in the Northland between Dec. 23 and 29, according to the Minnesota Department of Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

St. Louis County recorded five COVID deaths in the seven-day period. Itasca County recorded four deaths in the last week and Aiktin County had one.

Between Dec. 23 and 29, 18 people were hospitalized with COVID in St. Louis County, according to St. Louis County Public Health, and one person was admitted to an intensive care unit. So far in December, 117 people have been hospitalized with COVID and 10 COVID patients have been admitted to an intensive care unit in the county as of Dec. 29. Three people hospitalized have been pediatric patients.

The Northland had 1,028 cases between Dec. 23 and 29, according to the Minnesota Department of Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Last week, the 10-county region had 1,319 new cases.

New cases in Northland counties Dec. 23-29:

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  • Aitkin — 20.
  • Carlton — 108.
  • Cook — 14.
  • Itasca — 142.
  • Koochiching — 25.
  • Lake — 16.
  • St. Louis — 592.
  • Ashland — 16.
  • Bayfield — 11.
  • Douglas — 84.

St. Louis County

Of the 1,028 new cases in the Northland this week, 592 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 722 cases in the county.

Due to publication deadlines, city case totals and positive testing rates were calculated with data from the week before. New cases in St. Louis County cities Dec. 17-23, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

  • Duluth — 434.
  • Hibbing — 74.
  • Virginia — 38.
  • Hermantown — 21.
  • Ely — 19.
  • Chisholm — 17.
  • Saginaw — 13.
  • Aurora, Mountain Iron — 11 each.
  • Proctor — 10.
  • Gilbert — 9.
  • Britt, Eveleth — 6 each.
  • Cook, Floodwood, Tower — 5 each.

All other St. Louis County cities recorded fewer than five cases.
As of Dec. 23, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 8.4%, up 1.7% from last week. The county conducted 8,639 tests Dec. 17-23.

According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 182 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the seven-day period Dec. 17-23. People age 20-24 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 95 people in the age category testing positive.

The second-highest total of new cases was reported in people age 25-29, with 71 reported cases.

Carlton County

Carlton County logged 149 new cases Dec. 17-23. As of Thursday, Dec. 23, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 6.6%, up 0.6% from last week. The county conducted 2,366 tests Dec. 17-23.

New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Dec. 17-23, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

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  • Cloquet — 64.
  • Esko — 23.
  • Barnum — 22.
  • Carlton — 17.
  • Moose Lake — 16.
  • Wrenshall — 9.

All other Carlton County cities recorded fewer than five cases.
St. Louis, Carlton, Cook, Itasca and Aitkin counties had positive test rates above 5%. Itasca County's positive test rate was the highest at 8.6%.


Vaccines

In the Northland, 263,282 residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine — about 66% of the Northland's total population — and 247,762 residents are fully vaccinated — about 62% of the total Northland population. Between Dec. 22 and 29, 880 people received a first dose of vaccine and 788 people became fully vaccinated.

Percentage of people with at least one vaccine dose in each county (includes entire county population):

  • Aitkin — 59%.
  • Carlton — 68%.
  • Cook — 85%.
  • Itasca — 57%.
  • Koochiching — 56%.
  • Lake — 71%.
  • St. Louis — 68%.
  • Ashland — 68%.
  • Bayfield — 73%.
  • Douglas — 66%.
Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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