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29 Northlanders dead from COVID-19 in past 7 days

The Northland recorded 1,904 cases between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2.

FSA Coronavirus local

Twenty-nine Northland residents died Dec. 3-9 from COVID-19.

St. Louis County recorded 15 COVID deaths in the seven-day period. The county now has a total of 428 COVID-related deaths since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Douglas County recorded four deaths in the last week, and Carlton and Itasca counties each had three deaths. Aitkin County had two deaths and Koochiching and Lake counties each had one.

The Northland had 1,904 cases between Dec. 3 and 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Last week, the 10-county region had 2,201 new cases.

So far in December, 35 people have been hospitalized with COVID in St. Louis County, according to St. Louis County Public Health. Six COVID patients were admitted to an intensive care unit in the county as of Dec. 9.

New cases in Northland counties Dec. 3-9:


  • Aitkin — 85.
  • Carlton — 213.
  • Cook — 9.
  • Itasca — 217.
  • Koochiching — 76.
  • Lake — 28.
  • St. Louis — 1,081.
  • Ashland — 67.
  • Bayfield — 51.
  • Douglas — 77.

Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune free
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune free

School outbreaks

Sixty-seven Northland schools have COVID outbreaks. The following schools listed have five or more confirmed cases in students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week reporting period, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Friday:

  • Bay View Elementary, Denfeld High School, East High School, Homecroft Elementary, Laura MacArthur Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle School,* Lowell Elementary, North Shore Community School, North Star Academy, Ordean East Middle School, Pike Lake Elementary,* Raleigh Primary/El Academy,* Stella Maris Academy* (Holy Rosary* and St. John's* campuses) and Stowe Elementary* — all in Duluth.
  • Hermantown Elementary, Hermantown Middle School and Hermantown Senior High in Hermantown.
  • Proctor Senior High and A. I. Jedlicka Middle School* in Proctor.
  • Eveleth-Gilbert Senior High and Franklin Elementary in Eveleth.
  • Virginia Secondary and Roosevelt Elementary* in Virginia.
  • Cherry Elementary and Cherry Secondary in Iron.
  • Chisholm Secondary in Chisholm.
  • Hibbing High, Greenhaven Elementary, Washington Elementary and Lincoln Elementary in Hibbing.
  • Mesabi East Elementary and Mesabi East Secondary in Aurora.
  • North Woods Elementary and North Woods Secondary* in Cook.
  • Merritt Elementary and Mountain Iron-Buhl Secondary in Mountain Iron.
  • South Ridge Elementary* in Culver.
  • Minnehaha Elementary* in Two Harbors.
  • Barnum Elementary* and Barnum Secondary in Barnum.
  • Cloquet Middle School and Churchill Elementary in Cloquet.
  • Winterquist Elementary and Lincoln Secondary* in Esko.
  • Cromwell-Wright Secondary in Cromwell.
  • Moose Lake Elementary* in Moose Lake.
  • Cook County Senior High in Grand Marais.
  • Aitkin Secondary and Rippleside Elementary in Aitkin.
  • McGregor Secondary* in McGregor.
  • Bigfork Secondary* in Bigfork.
  • Cohasset Elementary in Cohasset.
  • Deer River Secondary in Deer River.
  • East Rapids Elementary, West Rapids Elementary, Grand Rapids Senior High and Robert J. Elkington Middle School in Grand Rapids.
  • Keewatin-Nashwauk Elementary in Keewatin.
  • Nashwauk Secondary in Nashwauk.
  • Greenway Senior High and Vandyke Elementary in Coleraine.
  • Falls Elementary and Falls Secondary in International Falls.
  • Littlefork-Big Falls Elementary* and Littlefork-Big Falls Secondary* in Littlefork.
  • Northome Elementary* in Northome.

* indicates newly listed school.

According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 311 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the seven-day period Dec. 3-9. People age 20-24 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 109 people in the age category testing positive.

The second-highest total of new cases was reported in people age 10-14, with 100 positive cases.

Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune free


St. Louis County

Of the 1,904 new cases in the Northland this week, 1,081 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 1,170 cases in the county.

New cases in St. Louis County cities Dec. 3-9, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

  • Duluth — 562.
  • Hibbing — 102.
  • Virginia — 57.
  • Hermantown — 41.
  • Ely — 36.
  • Proctor — 33.
  • Babbitt — 27.
  • Chisholm, Eveleth — 22 each.
  • Floodwood — 17.
  • Gilbert — 15.
  • Mountain Iron — 14.
  • Aurora — 13.
  • Brookston — 9.
  • Orr — 8.
  • Hoyt Lakes — 7.
  • Buhl, Embarrass — 6 each.
  • Biwabik, Cook, Cotton, Tower — 5 each.

All other St. Louis County cities recorded fewer than five cases.
As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 9.3%, down 1.2% from last week. The county conducted 11,680 tests Dec. 3-9.

Carlton County

Carlton County logged 213 new cases in the last week. As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 7.4%, down 2.2% from last week. The county conducted 2,868 tests Dec. 3-9.

New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Dec. 3-9, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

  • Cloquet — 100.
  • Esko — 43.
  • Barnum — 23.
  • Moose Lake — 21.
  • Carlton — 17.
  • Kettle River, Wrenshall — 7 each.
  • Cromwell — 5.

All other Carlton County cities recorded fewer than five cases.
All Northland Minnesota counties had positive test rates above 5% this week. Aitkin and Itasca counties had rates above 10%. Aitkin County's positive test rate was the highest at 11.3%.



In the Northland, 258,242 residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine — about 65% of the Northland's total population — and 243,023 residents are fully vaccinated — about 61% of the total Northland population. Since Dec. 2, 1,638 people received a first dose of vaccine and 3,182 people became fully vaccinated.

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

  • Aitkin — 59%.
  • Carlton — 67%.
  • Cook — 83%.
  • Itasca — 57%.
  • Koochiching — 55%.
  • Lake — 70%.
  • St. Louis — 67%.
  • Ashland — 65%.
  • Bayfield — 70%.
  • Douglas — 63%.
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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