Health officials reported Thursday that another 76 people in the Northland have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the 10-county region's weekly case total to about 600.

Another St. Louis County resident in their 90s has died from the illness as of Thursday. The county has lost 301 people to COVID-19.

Prior to the week of April 23-29, the Northland's weekly case total had climbed each week since mid-March. This week marked the first decline in six weeks.

News Tribune Graphic
News Tribune Graphic

Of the four deaths the Northland logged in the last week, three were from St. Louis County and one was from Douglas County.

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In a media call Thursday, Minnesota's infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said the state's health department is now aware of 1,163 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 at least two weeks after completing their vaccine series. Those people make up roughly 0.09% of the nearly 1.26 million Minnesotans considered fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

In Northeastern Minnesota, 59% of the population age 16 and older and eligible to receive a vaccine has had at least their first dose.

Three weeks ago, Pfizer and BioNTech, which currently offers the only vaccine authorized for people age 16 and 17, requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration drop the age range down to 12.

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"Our hope is that by summer we'll be able to vaccinate adolescents … with the Pfizer vaccine," Ehresmann said. "Then the hope is that by 2022 there would be vaccines for younger children."

Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at the Minnesota Department of Public Health, discusses the state’s response to the coronavirus at the State Capitol in St. Paul on March 6, 2020. Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at the Minnesota Department of Public Health, discusses the state’s response to the coronavirus at the State Capitol in St. Paul on March 6, 2020. Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press

New cases and seven-day averages in Northland counties on Thursday, April 29:

  • Aitkin — 6; 2.9.
  • Carlton — 1; 5.6.
  • Cook — 2; 0.7.
  • Itasca — 21; 26.3.
  • Koochiching — 1; 2.3.
  • Lake — 0; 0.9.
  • St. Louis — 40; 40.7.
  • Ashland — 5; 1.9.
  • Bayfield — 4; 1.
  • Douglas — 3; 4.4.

St. Louis County

Less than half, 285, of the Northland's new cases this week were in St. Louis County.

New cases in St. Louis County cities during the week of April 23-29:

  • Duluth — 119.
  • Hibbing — 35.
  • Virginia — 23.
  • Hermantown — 17.
  • Tower — 12.
  • Mountain Iron — 11.

All other communities in the county logged fewer than 10 new cases in the last week.

As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 3.5%. The county logged nearly 8,100 newly completed COVID-19 tests between April 23-29.

Carlton County

Carlton County logged 39 new cases of COVID-19 in the last week. Those new cases came off roughly 1,650 tests, putting this week's testing positivity rate at 2.4%.


New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes during the week of April 23-29:

  • Cloquet — 19.
  • Moose Lake — 8.
  • Carlton — 4.
  • Cromwell, Wrenshall — each logged 3.