As students return to the classroom, school-age children are seeing fewer COVID-19 cases each week as cases overall trend downward.

Cases in those ages 0-9 in St. Louis County have been trending down since the beginning of January. Over the past week, there were only six cases of COVID-19 among those ages 0-4 in St. Louis County and only eight cases among those ages 5-9. Statewide over the past week, 227 cases were reported in those ages 0-4 and 324 in ages 5-9.

Cases among preteens and teens have continued to be in the double digits each week in St. Louis County, but have slightly decreased since a spike in cases over the holiday week. Those ages 10-14 in St. Louis County accounted for 13 cases over the past week and those ages 15-19 accounted for 22 cases over the same period.

Statewide, those ages 10-14 accounted for 385 cases over the past week and those ages 15-19 accounted for 583 cases over the same period.

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Local COVID-19 numbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-verified 14-day case rates per 10,000 residents around the Northland for Jan. 3-16 were:

  • 24.63 in Aitkin County.

  • 30.67 in Carlton County.

  • 11.3 in Cook County.

  • 25.44 in Itasca County.

  • 63.39 in Lake County.

  • 35.54 in St. Louis County.

  • 43.4 in the Duluth area.

  • 24.4 in Central/Southern St. Louis County.

  • 20.4 in Northern St. Louis County.

The 14-day case rates are used as guidance for school districts when choosing the right learning model for middle and high school students. Elementary students were allowed to return to in-person learning five days a week starting Jan. 18 regardless of these numbers.

According to Essentia Health’s COVID-19 Regional Projections dashboard, the county 14-day case rates per 10,000 residents as of Jan. 26 were:

  • 37.1 in Aitkin County.

  • 27.3 in Carlton County.

  • 9.3 in Cook County.

  • 20.4 in Itasca County.

  • 57.2 in Lake County.

  • 33.7 in St. Louis County.

No Northland schools added to outbreak list

As of Thursday, four new school buildings were added to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 outbreak list and 13 were removed for a total of 61. Statewide, 13 more school buildings reported at least one new case of COVID-19.

No Northland buildings were added or removed from the list. Grand Rapids High School, added to the list Oct. 8, is the only Northland school building still on the state outbreak list.

A school building is put on the list if it reports five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in a building while infectious during a two-week reporting period. The building is removed after 28 days of no new positive tests.

From Jan. 17-23, there were 343 more positive COVID-19 cases in schools statewide, with 157 new cases among staff and 186 new cases among students. Statewide, three staff members and two students were hospitalized with COVID-19.

From Jan. 10-23, 342 school buildings reported one confirmed case of COVID-19, 104 reported two to four confirmed cases and 11 reported more than five.