Minnesota and Wisconsin health officials reported no new COVID-19 deaths among Northland residents in one week for the first time since July 2020.

During the pandemic's worst week in the 10-county region, in November, as many as 50 deaths from COVID-19 were reported. Though the virus is still circulating, this week's no-death milestone is a welcome indicator of the pandemic's dulling effect on the region.

Another 36 Northland residents tested positive July 9-15 — up by 10 from last week's total. For the second consecutive week, Aitkin County as well as Wisconsin's Ashland and Bayfield counties logged no new cases.

Seven-day total of new cases in Northland counties July 9-15:

  • Aitkin — 0.
  • Carlton — 7.
  • Cook — 0.
  • Itasca — 3.
  • Koochiching — 5.
  • Lake — 1.
  • St. Louis — 20.
  • Ashland — 0.
  • Bayfield — 0.
  • Douglas — 0.
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In the last month, the region has recorded an average of about 35 new cases each week.

Seven-day testing positivity rates — the percentage of tests that came back positive — in Northeastern Minnesota were nearly all below 2% as of Thursday, with the exception of Koochiching County, which was 2.5%.

About 2,300 more Northland residents have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the last week. More than 2,000 of those people live in Northeastern Minnesota.

The percentage of all Northlanders who have had at least one dose has remained fairly stagnant around 55% and creeped up slightly this week to nearly 57%, according to data from Wisconsin and Minnesota health officials.

Percentage of total population with at least one vaccine dose in each county:

  • Aitkin — 50%.
  • Carlton — 56%.
  • Cook — 74%.
  • Itasca — 48%.
  • Koochiching — 49%.
  • Lake — 60%.
  • St. Louis — 57%.
  • Ashland — 56%.
  • Bayfield — 63%.
  • Douglas — 54%.