The Northland recorded 1,496 cases of COVID-19 in its 10-county region Oct. 1-7, again setting the 2021 seven-day case total record. Last week, there were 1,287 cases recorded in the region.

There were eight COVID-19-related deaths recorded in the Northland this week, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Three deaths each were in St. Louis and Carlton counties. Aitkin County recorded two COVID-19-related deaths.

In the first seven days of October, 19 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in St. Louis County, according to St. Louis County Public Health. Three patients were admitted to the intensive care unit.

School outbreaks

Fifteen Northland schools have COVID-19 outbreaks — 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 Thursday:

Newsletter signup for email alerts
  • Cherry Elementary and Cherry Secondary in Iron.
  • Hibbing High in Hibbing.
  • Mesabi East Elementary and Mesabi East Secondary in Aurora.
  • North Woods Secondary in Cook.
  • Vaughan-Steffensrud Elementary in Chisholm.
  • Minnehaha Elementary in Two Harbors.
  • Bigfork Elementary and Bigfork Secondary in Bigfork.
  • Grand Rapids Senior High in Grand Rapids.
  • King Elementary in Deer River.
  • Falls Elementary and Falls Secondary in International Falls.
  • Littlefork-Big Falls Elementary in Littlefork.

According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 232 of the county's cases this week were in people younger than 20 years old. Children age 5-9 accounted for the second-largest number of the county's total cases in the last seven days. Between Oct. 1 and 7, 66 children age 5-9 tested positive for COVID-19. People age 35-39 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 69 people in that age category testing positive this week.

New cases in Northland counties Oct 1-7:

  • Aitkin — 58.
  • Carlton — 137.
  • Cook — 9.
  • Itasca — 261.
  • Koochiching — 49.
  • Lake — 35.
  • St. Louis — 810.
  • Ashland — 29.
  • Bayfield — 15.
  • Douglas — 93.

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

St. Louis County

Of the 1,496 new cases in the Northland this week, 810 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 678 cases in the county.

New cases in St. Louis County cities Oct. 1-7, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

  • Duluth — 315.
  • Hibbing — 83.
  • Virginia — 65.
  • Eveleth — 55

  • Mountain Iron — 29.

  • Chisholm, Hermantown — 26.
  • Aurora — 22.
  • Saginaw — 16.

  • Gilbert, Iron — 19 each.

  • Buhl, Cook, Ely — 14 each.
  • Britt — 13.
  • Orr, Saginaw — 11 each.

  • Tower — 10.
  • Embarrass, Hoyt Lakes — 8.
  • Proctor — 6.

All other St. Louis County cities recorded fewer than five cases.

As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 7.1%, up 0.8% from last week. The county conducted 11,462 tests Oct. 1-7.

Carlton County

Carlton County logged 137 new cases in the last week. Those new cases came from 2,111 tests, putting this week's testing positivity rate at 6.5%, up 0.6% from last week.


New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Oct. 1-7, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

  • Cloquet — 82.
  • Esko — 15.
  • Barnum — 12.
  • Carlton — 10.
  • Wrenshall — 7.
  • Moose Lake— 6.

All other Carlton County cities recorded less than five cases.

All Minnesota Northland counties except Cook County had positive test rates above 5% this week. Itasca and Aitkin counties both had positive test rates higher than 10%, with 10.5% and 11%, respectively.

In the Northland, 234,591 residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 223,302 residents are fully vaccinated.

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

  • Aitkin — 53%.
  • Carlton — 60%.
  • Cook — 66%.
  • Itasca — 50%.
  • Koochiching — 51%.
  • Lake — 63%.
  • St. Louis — 60%.
  • Ashland — 62%.
  • Bayfield — 67%.
  • Douglas — 60%.