COVID-19 Cases Spike In Itasca County

The Itasca County Health Department is reporting an uncontrolled level of COVID spread due to largely formal and informal gatherings that they deemed unsafe.

ITASCA COUNTY – The Itasca County Health Department is reporting an uncontrolled level of COVID spread due to largely formal and informal gatherings that they deemed unsafe.

Itasca County has almost doubled the amount of COVID cases that it has had compared to less than a month ago.

There are currently 539 cases and now Grand Rapids Senior High School has been put on the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of school buildings for developing five or more positive COVID-19 cases in a two-week period.

Health officials say that despite the rise in cases at the school, leadership there are doing a good job of keeping it from spreading.

“There is concern but that which he have control over we feel really good about and we’re showing that there has been no evidence of transmissions within our school,” said Grand Rapids High School Principal Matt Dass.

Currently, there are six students who have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 1,200 students. Those cases are believed to be caused by community transmission. Grand Rapids High School started the school year in-person but is now in a hybrid model.

School administrators say they have been meeting with local health experts to make sure they’re doing their best to keep students and staff healthy.

“There maybe is a lack of understanding that how the community behavior is effects how the schools can stay open and our schools are really doing a phenomenal job,” said Kelly Chandler, the division manager for Itasca County Public Health.

Officials say the cases have gone up because of small to large gatherings mainly by adults in social settings where they are not social distancing and not wearing masks.

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