Itasca County Officials Provide Update on COVID-19, Senior Living Facilities

Cases of COVID-19 Continue to Climb in Itasca County

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Officials say coordination has been key to successful COVID-19 response strategies inside long term care facilities in Itasca County.

Health professionals and management from many of the senior care facilities in the county provided an update Thursday morning on response efforts.

Management from The Emeralds at Grand Rapids report they haven’t had any new cases of the virus in the past five weeks.

As of Thursday, July 23, Itasca County Public Health reports 113 cases of COVID-19, with 12 deaths since the virus was first documented in March.

Cases range from individuals as young as six, and as old as 94.

Since July 7, just two weeks ago, 45 new cases have been reported in the county.

Officials say they’re thankful for such quick, swift action between healthcare and living facilities.

They’re grateful for such strong community support.

“We’ve asked staff to do things they’ve never had to do before, to take on workloads they’ve never seen before, change the way they do their daily operations,” said Melissa Walters, Director of Operations as Progressive Care. “Our apartments that these residents live in are their homes and we’re asking them to change how they live in their homes every single day. I don’t know about you, but I would probably be a little resistant to that and they’ve responded well.”

All senior living facilities in Itasca County continue to monitor residents and check employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms.

Facilities also provide various ways for residents to stay socially distant yet connected to family and friends during these trying times.

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