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Northland COVID cases continue to decline

The Northland recorded 1,121 new COVID-19 cases Feb. 18-24.

FSA Coronavirus local

DULUTH — New cases of COVID-19 in the Northland continued to decline for the fourth week in a row. The 10-county region recorded 1,121 new COVID cases Feb. 18-24. Last week, the region recorded 1,531.

Eleven deaths were recorded Feb. 18-24 in the Northland, including four in St. Louis County; two each in Carlton, Ashland and Itasca counties; and one in Lake County.

In St. Louis County, 25 people were hospitalized Feb. 18-24 with COVID, including one pediatric patient. No one was admitted to an intensive care unit, according to St. Louis County Public Health.

So far in February, 115 people with COVID have been hospitalized in St. Louis County, including six pediatric patients. Fourteen people with COVID infections have been admitted to the ICU in February as of Feb. 24.

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 Feb. 18-24:

  • Aitkin — 24.
  • Carlton — 126.
  • Cook — 6.
  • Itasca — 97.
  • Koochiching — 34.
  • Lake — 14.
  • St. Louis — 707.
  • Ashland — 32.
  • Bayfield — 19.
  • Douglas — 52.

School outbreaks

Forty-five Minnesota schools in the Northland have COVID outbreaks.

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:

  • Duluth: Bay View Elementary, Congdon Elementary, Denfeld High School, Marshall School, East High School, Homecroft Elementary, Laura MacArthur Elementary, Lester Park Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle School, Lowell Elementary, Myers-Wilkins Elementary,* Ordean East Middle School, Piedmont Elementary, Pike Lake Elementary, Stella Maris Academy (St. John's campus) and Stowe Elementary.
  • Hermantown: Hermantown Middle School.
  • Proctor: A.I. Jedlicka Middle School and Proctor Senior High.
  • Aurora: Mesabi East Elementary and Mesabi East Secondary.
  • Carlton: South Terrace Elementary.*
  • Chisholm: Vaughn Elementary.
  • Cloquet: Cloquet Senior High, Cloquet Middle School and Washington Elementary.
  • Coleraine: Greenway Senior High.*
  • Cook: North Woods Secondary.
  • Culver: South Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Secondary.*
  • Ely: Memorial High School.
  • Esko: Winterquist Elementary and Lincoln Secondary.
  • Grand Rapids: East Rapids Elementary, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Robert J. Elkington Middle School and Grand Rapids Senior High.
  • Hibbing: Lincoln Elementary School and Hibbing High School.
  • International Falls: Falls Elementary and Falls Secondary.
  • Keewatin: Keewatin-Nashwauk Elementary.
  • Virginia: Roosevelt Elementary and Virginia Secondary.
  • Two Harbors: Minnehaha Elementary.

* indicates newly added school.

    St. Louis County

    Of the 1,121 new cases in the Northland this week, 707 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 822 cases in the county.

    Cases in St. Louis County cities Feb. 18-24, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

    • Duluth — 322.
    • Virginia — 35.
    • Hibbing — 28.
    • Eveleth — 21.
    • Hermantown — 20.
    • Proctor — 18.
    • Ely — 16.
    • Chisholm — 15.
    • Gilbert — 11.
    • Mountain Iron — 9.
    • Saginaw — 6.
    • Babbitt — 5.

    All other cities in St. Louis County recorded fewer than five cases this week.
    As of Feb. 24, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 8.7%, down 0.7% from last week. The county reported results from 8,115 tests Feb. 18-24. Only laboratory tests — not at-home or rapid tests — are included in the data.

    According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 110 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the seven-day period Feb. 18-24. People age 20-24 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 64 people in the age category testing positive.


    The second-highest total of new cases was reported in people age 40-44, with 52 reported cases.

    Carlton County

    Carlton County logged 126 new cases Feb. 18-24. As of Thursday, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 6.1%, down 3% from last week. The county reported results from 2,069 tests Feb. 18-24.

    New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Feb. 18-24, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

    • Cloquet — 40.
    • Esko — 17.
    • Wrenshall — 8.
    • Moose Lake — 7.
    • Carlton — 6.
    • Barnum — 5.

    All other cities in Carlton County recorder fewer than five cases this week.
    St. Louis, Carlton, Itasca, Koochiching and Aitkin counties had positive test rates above 5% this week. St. Louis County's positive test rate was the highest, at 8.7%. Only laboratory tests, not at-home or rapid tests, are included in the data.


    In the last week, 219 more people received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the Northland, and 612 people became fully vaccinated.

    As of Feb. 24, 269,401 residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine — about 68% of the Northland's total population — and 254,866 residents are fully vaccinated — about 64% of the total Northland population.

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


    • Aitkin — 61%.
    • Carlton — 70%.
    • Cook — 86%.
    • Itasca — 59%.
    • Koochiching — 57%.
    • Lake — 72%.
    • St. Louis — 69%.
    • Ashland — 70%.
    • Bayfield — 75%.
    • Douglas — 68%.
    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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