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Northland COVID-19 cases lowest since summer 2021

The Northland recorded 544 new cases and 11 COVID-related deaths Feb. 25-March 3.

FSA Coronavirus local

DULUTH — New cases of COVID-19 in the Northland continued to decline for the fifth week in a row, reaching a seven-day total last seen in early September 2021. The 10-county region recorded 544 new COVID cases Feb. 25-March 3. Last week, the region had 1,121.

Eleven deaths were recorded Feb. 25-March 3 in the Northland, including five in St. Louis County, four in Carlton County and one each in Itasca and Koochiching counties.

In St. Louis County, 11 people were hospitalized Feb. 25-March 3 with COVID and two people were admitted to an intensive care unit, according to St. Louis County Public Health.

In February, 123 people with COVID were hospitalized in St. Louis County, including six pediatric patients. Sixteen people with COVID infections were admitted to an ICU. As of March 3, three people have been hospitalized with COVID this month.

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. 25-March 3:

  • Aitkin — 20.
  • Carlton — 42.
  • Cook — 3.
  • Itasca — 62.
  • Koochiching — 24.
  • Lake — 27.
  • St. Louis — 299.
  • Ashland — 16.
  • Bayfield — 16.
  • Douglas — 35.

School outbreaks

Fifty-nine 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 Elementary,* Hermantown Middle School and Hermantown Senior High.*
  • Proctor: A.I. Jedlicka Middle School and Proctor Senior High.
  • Aurora: Mesabi East Elementary and Mesabi East Secondary.
  • Barnum: Barnum Elementary* and Barnum Secondary.*
  • Carlton: South Terrace Elementary and Carlton Secondary.*
  • Chisholm: Vaughn Elementary.
  • Cloquet: Churchill Elementary,* 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, Robert J. Elkington Middle School, West Rapids Elementary,* Grand Rapids Senior High and Washington Elementary.*
  • Hibbing: Assumption Catholic School,* Greenhaven Elementary,* Lincoln Elementary School and Hibbing High School.
  • International Falls: Falls Elementary and Falls Secondary.
  • Keewatin: Keewatin-Nashwauk Elementary.
  • Nashwauk: Nashwauk Secondary.*
  • Silver Bay: William Kelley Secondary.*
  • Two Harbors: Minnehaha Elementary and Two Harbors Secondary.*
  • Virginia: Parkview Elementary,* Roosevelt Elementary and Virginia Secondary.
  • Wrenshall: Wrenshall Secondary.*

* indicates newly added school.

St. Joseph's Catholic School in Grand Rapids was removed from the list this week.

    St. Louis County

    Of the 544 new cases in the Northland this week, 299 were in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week, there were 707 cases in the county.

    Cases in St. Louis County cities Feb. 25-March 3, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

    • Duluth — 219.
    • Hibbing, Virginia — 30 each.
    • Hermantown — 15.
    • Eveleth — 14.
    • Chisholm — 9.
    • Saginaw — 8.
    • Proctor — 7.
    • Mountain Iron — 6.
    • Cook, Iron — 5 each.

    All other cities in St. Louis County recorded fewer than five cases this week.
    As of March 3, the county's seven-day testing positivity rate was 2.7%, down 6% from last week. The county reported results from 10,976 tests Feb. 25-March 3. Only laboratory tests — not at-home or rapid tests — are included in the data.


    According to data from St. Louis County Public Health, 49 cases were recorded in people younger than 20 in the seven-day period Feb. 25-March 3. People age 20-24 accounted for the largest case total in the county, with 30 people in the age category testing positive.

    The second-highest total of new cases was reported in people age 30-34, with 28 reported cases.

    Carlton County

    Carlton County logged 42 new cases Feb. 25-March 3. Last week, the county had 126 reported cases.

    New cases in Carlton County ZIP codes Feb. 25-March 3, according to Minnesota Department of Health data:

    • Cloquet — 23.
    • Moose Lake — 13.
    • Wrenshall — 9.
    • Carlton — 8.
    • Esko — 6.

    All other cities in Carlton County recorder fewer than five cases this week.
    All Minnesota Northland counties had positive test rates below 5% this week. Koochiching County's positive test rate was the highest, at 4.5%. Only laboratory tests, not at-home or rapid tests, are included in the data.


    In the last week, 115 more people received a first dose of COVID vaccine in the Northland, and 484 people became fully vaccinated.

    As of March 3, 269,516 residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine — about 68% of the Northland's total population — and 255,350 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 — 87%.
    • Itasca — 59%.
    • Koochiching — 57%.
    • Lake — 71%.
    • 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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