COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Surging on the Iron Range

More than 28 percent of the greater county's cases are blamed on community spread with no identified source of exposure.

DULUTH, Minn . – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the region, the Iron Range is experiencing a surge of cases and deaths.

Cases grew quickly in the Duluth area in September, but now October has seen an especially dramatic rise in the area’s northern communities, with many of the cases traced back to community spread.

Deaths are also skyrocketing in the first five months of the pandemic only one death was recorded in Greater St. Louis County.

Since September first that number has risen to 31 deaths.

More than 28 percent of the greater county’s cases are blamed on community spread with no identified source of exposure.

The Division Director at St. Louis County Public Health, Amy Westbrook, says people are doing a great job of wearing masks when out in public, but are letting their guard down when seeing extended family or close friends and not taking proper precautions.

“What we see is where that community transmission is spreading then we get that transmission occurring in vulnerable settings so everyone has a vulnerable role here and we want to assure that our healthcare systems are not getting overwhelmed,” says Westbrook.

County-wide the number of serious cases requiring hospitalization is also at a record-high number of 23 people hospitalized with seven of them in intensive care.

The health officials say the best way to help contain the spread of the virus is to wear masks and social distance.

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