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Northland records 348 COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths this week

Both deaths were St. Louis County residents.

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DULUTH — The Northland's 10-county region recorded 348 new COVID-19 cases April 15-21. The area had two COVID-related deaths in the past week, both in St. Louis County.

In St. Louis County, seven people were hospitalized April 15-21 with COVID and two were admitted to an intensive care unit, according to St. Louis County Public Health. One person was admitted to an intensive care unit. As of April 21, 14 people have been hospitalized with COVID this month, including one pediatric patient, and four have been admitted to an ICU.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services do not provide the vaccination status of individuals who die or are hospitalized due to COVID.

New cases in Northland counties April 15-21:

  • Aitkin —15.
  • Carlton — 27.
  • Cook — 6.
  • Itasca — 19.
  • Koochiching — 14.
  • Lake — 11.
  • St. Louis — 195.
  • Ashland — 5.
  • Bayfield — 11.
  • Douglas — 45.

School outbreaks

No Northland schools have COVID outbreaks, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Schools with five or more confirmed cases in students or staff who were in the building while infectious during a two-week reporting period are considered to have COVID outbreaks.


        St. Louis County

        Of the 348 new cases in the Northland this week, 195 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, the county recorded 157.

        Cases in St. Louis County cities April 15-21, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

        • Duluth — 151.
        • Hermantown, Hibbing — 7 each.
        • Virginia — 5.

        All other cities in St. Louis County recorded fewer than five cases this week.
        The Minnesota Department of Health no longer records COVID-19 testing data due to federal guidelines not requiring negative tests to be recorded, so county positivity rates can no longer be calculated.

        According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 38 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the seven-day period April 15-21. People age 30-34 had the most cases per age group in the county, with 19 people in that age category testing positive.

        The second-highest number of cases were recorded in county residents age 0-4, with 15 people in the age category testing positive.

        Carlton County

        Carlton County logged 27 new cases April 15-21. Last week, the county recorded 21.

        New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes April 15-21, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

        • Cloquet — 15.
        • Esko — 8.
        • Carlton, Moose Lake — 2 each.
        • Cromwell, Wrenshall — 1 each.



        As of April 21, 270,196 residents have received at least one dose of vaccine — about 68% of the Northland's total population — and 256,670 residents are fully vaccinated — about 64% of the total Northland population.

        According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 147,432 of the state's Northlanders are updated with COVID vaccinations and boosters. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 29,046 Wisconsin Northlanders have received a booster dose.

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

        • Aitkin — 61%.
        • Carlton — 71%.
        • Cook — 87%.
        • Itasca — 59%.
        • Koochiching — 57%.
        • Lake — 71%.
        • St. Louis — 69%.
        • Ashland — 71%.
        • Bayfield — 75%.
        • Douglas — 68%.
        Scores dropped by 11 points from 2019, placing the state among the 10 biggest decreases in that age group nationally.

        Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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