More than 10,000 16- and 17-year-olds statewide have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Of the 10,032 teens vaccinated in the first week of eligibility, 907 live in Northeastern Minnesota. The number of vaccines received by 16- and 17-year-olds in Northeastern Minnesota by county are:

  • Aitkin — 24.

  • Carlton — 88.

  • Cook — 17.

  • Itasca — 71.

  • Koochiching — 14.

  • Lake — 27.

  • St. Louis — 666.

The Minnesota Department of Health has expressed concern about the increased positivity rates among the school-age population, and encourages parents of 16- and 17-year-olds to get their students vaccinated.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those ages 16-17.

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Over the past week in St. Louis County, those age 4 and under had nine new cases; ages 5-9 had 22 new cases; ages 10-14 had 11 new cases; and those ages 15-19 had 28 new cases.

Statewide COVID-19 cases over the past week by age group were: age 4 and under, 396; ages 5-9, 626; ages 10-14, 920; and ages 15-19, 1,176.

From March 28 through April 3, there were 796 more positive cases in schools statewide, with 120 new cases among staff and 676 new cases among students. The state reported one staff member spent time in the ICU and one student was hospitalized last week.

Virginia High School was added to the Minnesota Department of Health's outbreak list Thursday and Hermantown High School was removed the same day.

A school building is put on the list if it reports five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in a building while infectious during a two-week reporting period. The building is removed after 28 days of no new positive tests.

These Northland schools still remain on the outbreak list as of Thursday:

  • Grand Rapids High School, added Oct. 8.

  • Lowell Elementary School, in Duluth, added March 11.

  • Robert J. Elkington Middle School, in Grand Rapids, added March 11.

  • Hibbing High School, added March 18.

  • Mesabi East High School in Aurora, added March 18.

  • St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Grand Rapids, added March 18.

  • Cohasset Elementary School in Cohasset, added March 25.

  • Greenway High School in Coleraine, added March 25.

  • West Rapids Elementary School in Grand Rapids, added March 25.

  • Mesabi East Elementary School in Aurora, added March 25.

  • Memorial High School in Ely, added March 25.

  • Hermantown Elementary School, added April 1.

As of Thursday, 23 new school buildings were added to the list and six were removed for a total of 24 buildings remaining on the list.

Local COVID-19 numbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-verified 14-day case rates per 10,000 residents around the Northland for March 14-27 were:

  • 10.1 in Aitkin County.

  • 27.29 in Carlton County.

  • 18.83 in Cook County.

  • 40.04 in Itasca County.

  • 12.3 in Lake County.

  • 26.1 in St. Louis County.

  • 28 in the Duluth area.

  • 18.8 in Central/Southern St. Louis County.

  • 46.4 in Northern St. Louis County.

The 14-day case rates are used as guidance for school districts when choosing the right learning model for middle and high school students. Elementary students are allowed to return to in-person learning five days a week starting Jan. 18 regardless of these numbers.

According to Essentia Health’s COVID-19 Regional Projections dashboard, the county 14-day case rates per 10,000 residents as of April 6 were:

  • 24 in Aitkin County.

  • 28 in Carlton County.

  • 11 in Cook County.

  • 44 in Itasca County.

  • 13 in Lake County.

  • 33 in St. Louis County.