COVID-19 cases skyrocket in St. Louis County with 320 new infections – Duluth News Tribune

That’s nearly a 70% increase from the county’s previous single-day high of 190 cases Nov. 6. In the last seven days, St. Louis County has recorded an average of 171.6 new cases a day.

Fifty-two — about 16%— of those cases were in residents between ages 20 and 24.

Two more St. Louis County residents have died from COVID-19. The people were between ages 65-69 and 75-79, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. One of them was a resident of a long-term care or assisted living facility and the other lived at home.

Seventy-nine St. Louis County residents have now lost their lives from the illness.

Carlton and Itasca counties also both saw new daily highs. Carlton County recorded 76 new diagnoses — nearly a 60% increase since its previous high on Nov. 6.

The county recorded its eighth death, a person between ages 65 and 69.

In line with a recent turns of events, Itasca County logged 61 new infections Thursday, a couple weeks after Itasca County public health officials noticed signs of improvement in the community’s previously deemed “uncontrollable spread.” The county recorded 57 cases Wednesday and has had an average of 38.3 new cases a day.

Dr. Phil Imholte, family medicine physician at Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital, called out community members for not doing their part to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“Health care providers are very frustrated with our community’s behavior, the blatant disregard for mask wearing and people gathering with large groups of other people has led to rapid and nearly uncontrollable spread of COVID,” Imholte said in an Itasca County news conference Thursday.

“Due to the surge in COVID, driven by community spread our hospitals are full, making caring for heart attack, stroke and trauma very difficult,” Imholte said. “Some people want to argue that the COVID numbers do not matter, but I would hope that everybody agrees the hospitalization numbers matter.

“If you want health care providers to help you, your grandmother, your uncle, your child or your friends when they need any kind of care, now’s the time to improve your behavior,” he said.

Minnesota reported 7,228 new infections Thursday and 39 deaths. Another one of those deaths was recorded in the Northland. An Aitkin County resident between ages 90 and 94 died, bringing the county’s death toll to nine.

Completed diagnostic tests were up by 48,513 in Minnesota, putting the state’s single-day testing positivity rate — the percentage of those tests that came back positive — at 14.9%.

New cases and seven-day averages in other Northeastern Minnesota counties:

  • Aitkin: 6; 16.7.
  • Cook: 2; 0.9.
  • Koochiching: 9; 5.9.
  • Lake: 11; 6.1.