The Northland's seven-day COVID-19 case total was the highest seen this year in the 10-county region and has increased for four weeks in a row.

The 10-county region recorded 1,999 cases Nov. 12-18. Last week, the region had 1,888 new cases. Carlton, Cook and St. Louis counties all recorded their highest seven-day total of cases for 2021 this week.

There were 10 COVID-related deaths in the Northland this week, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. St. Louis and Itasca counties each had three deaths. Carlton County recorded two deaths: one was a person age 20-24 and the other was age 40-44. Aitkin and Koochiching counties each recorded one death.

Sixty-one people Nov. 11-18 were hospitalized with COVID in St. Louis County, including one pediatric patient, according to St. Louis County Public Health. Nine patients were admitted to an intensive care unit in the eight-day period. So far in November, there have been 97 COVID patients hospitalized in the county — including two pediatric patients — and 14 ICU admissions. Hospitalization data includes eight days of data due to the Veterans Day holiday.

New cases in Northland counties Nov. 12-18:

Newsletter signup for email alerts
  • Aitkin — 69.
  • Carlton — 169.
  • Cook — 22.
  • Itasca — 309.
  • Koochiching — 71.
  • Lake — 56.
  • St. Louis — 1,122.
  • Ashland — 24.
  • Bayfield — 22.
  • Douglas — 135.

School outbreaks

Forty-six Northland schools have COVID-19 outbreaks.

East High School in Duluth; Hermantown Middle School in Hermantown; Nelle Shean Elementary in Gilbert; Vaughan Elementary in Chisholm; Bigfork Elementary in Bigfork; and Falls Secondary in International Falls were removed from the list of outbreaks this week.

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 Thursday:

  • Denfeld High School, Homecroft Elementary, Laura MacArthur Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle School, Lowell Elementary, North Shore Community School, North Star Academy, Ordean East Middle School and Pike Lake Elementary all in Duluth.

  • Hermantown Elementary and Hermantown Senior High in Hermantown.
  • Eveleth-Gilbert Senior High and Franklin Elementary in Eveleth.
  • Roosevelt Elementary and Virginia Secondary in Virginia.
  • Cherry Elementary and Cherry Secondary in Iron.
  • Hibbing High 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.
  • Minnehaha Elementary in Two Harbors.
  • Barnum Elementary and Barnum Secondary in Barnum.
  • Cloquet Middle School in Cloquet.
  • Lincoln Secondary and Winterquist Elementary in Esko.

  • Aitkin Secondary and Rippleside Elementary* in Aitkin.
  • 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.
  • Falls Elementary 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, 326 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the eight-day period Nov. 11-18. People age 10-14 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 126 people in each age category testing positive.

The second-highest total of new cases was reported in people age 35-39, with 122 positive cases. More than 100 people tested positive for COVID in each of the following age groups in the last eight days: 10-14, 20-24, 30-34, 35-39 and 40-44.

St. Louis County

Of the 1,999 new cases in the Northland this week, 1,122 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 1,017 cases in the county.

New cases in St. Louis County cities Nov. 11-18, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

  • Duluth — 568.
  • Hibbing — 171.
  • Virginia — 92.
  • Hermantown — 84.
  • Chisholm — 52.
  • Ely — 34.
  • Proctor — 31.
  • Gilbert — 23.
  • Aurora, Saginaw — 21 each.
  • Hoyt Lakes — 19.
  • Mountain Iron — 18.
  • Buhl —13.
  • Cook — 12.
  • Tower — 11.
  • Floodwood — 10.
  • Embarrass — 9.
  • Angora, Biwabik, Iron — 8 each.
  • Babbitt — 7.
  • Alborn — 6.
  • Britt, Orr — 5 each.

All other St. Louis County cities recorded fewer than five cases. Cases include data from Thursday, Nov. 11, which was not reported on the Veterans Day holiday.

As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 11.3%, up 1.4% from last week. The county conducted 9,938 tests Nov. 12-18.

Carlton County

Carlton County logged 169 new cases in the last week. Those new cases came from 1,700 tests, putting this week's testing positivity rate at 9.9%, up 1.1% from last week.

New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Nov. 12-18, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

  • Cloquet — 63.
  • Barnum — 22.
  • Esko — 20.
  • Moose Lake — 17.
  • Carlton — 16.
  • Cromwell — 13.
  • Kettle River — 10.
  • Wrenshall — 8.
  • Wright — 7.

All other Carlton County cities recorded fewer than five cases.

All Northland Minnesota counties had positive test rates above 5% this week. Aitkin, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching and St. Louis counties all had rates above 10%. Itasca County's positive test rate was the highest at 15%.

In the Northland, 251,664 residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine — about 63% of the Northland's total population — and 236,302 residents are fully vaccinated — about 59% of the total Northland population.

Since the Pfizer COVID vaccine became available to children age 5-11 at the beginning of November, 2,863 Minnesota Northlanders age 5-11 have gotten their first dose of vaccine. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does not yet have data for 5- to 11-year-olds available.

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

  • Aitkin — 58%.
  • Carlton — 66%.
  • Cook — 81%.
  • Itasca — 55%.
  • Koochiching — 54%.
  • Lake — 68%.
  • St. Louis — 65%.
  • Ashland — 64%.
  • Bayfield — 69%.
  • Douglas — 62%.