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Carlton County sees rise in COVID-19 cases

Jenny Barta, a public health nurse specialist and the county's disease prevention and control coordinator, provided an update to the county board on the increase in COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 virus photographed through a powerful microscope. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. NIAID-RML

CARLTON — While the community transmission level remains low, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Carlton County.

Jenny Barta, a Carlton County public health nurse specialist and the county's disease prevention and control coordinator, gave the latest update to the Carlton County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, May 3.

"Unfortunately I wish I had better news for us," she said. "It seems that cases are trending up in the U.S., as well as hospitalizations."

While deaths have plateaued, Barta said everything else is starting to rise in the county.

"But with the increase in recent cases we do expect to see more deaths in the near future," she said.


The cases per 100,000 people was 117, an increase of 138% compared to the previous week, according to Barta.

The latest data available on the county's COVID-19 Hub, which uses data from the Minnesota Department of Health, shows the rate increased to 225.8 cases per 100,000 residents, as of May 3.

"This is likely due to a subvariant," she said. "Mitigation measures have not changed, we are encouraging individuals that are sick to stay away from others and get tested."

To combat a possible surge in the fall, which the Minnesota Department of Health is preparing for, Barta said the county is working with local facilities on COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics.

Officials are focused on local assisted living facilities and schools. Barta said the department provided 57 doses to assisted living facilities on Tuesday, May 3.

The next vaccination clinic the county is hosting is for children, ages 11-18, on Tuesday, May 10. The clinic will be an immunization opportunity not just for COVID-19, but also for influenza and tetanus.

Commissioner Mark Thell asked Barta which of the COVID-19 vaccines would be available at the event, or for those looking for a booster.

Barta said the county has a larger amount of the Moderna vaccine, and plans to use the Pfizer vaccine for children looking for a booster.

Dylan is a former reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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