Itasca County Health Officials Urge Caution as More Residents Receive Vaccine

Health Officials Also Report a Decline in the Number of Domestic, Sexual Abuse Cases as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – The vaccine rollout continues to be strong in Itasca County.

The county has a population of over 45,000 residents.

So far, just over 20,000 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Thursday, Mar. 18, 12,382 residents have received at least one shot, while 7,752 residents are fully vaccinated.

Health officials report 76 percent of the 65-plus population has now been vaccinated.

Shots continue to be administered to those in Phase 1a, and 1b groups.

For many weeks, the county reported a steady decline in new COVID cases, however, in the past seven days, 76 new cases have been reported, and four additional deaths have been added for a total of 51 lives lost in Itasca County due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“We are asking you to do the things that keep us safe a little while longer. Please stay at home when you are sick, even with minor symptoms such as congestion or a headache, keep wearing your masks, and continue to stay six feet from others and especially others who are not fully vaccinated,” said Kelly Chandler, division manager of Itasca County Public Health.

Aside from COVID-19, many health professionals are seeing a decrease in the number of domestic and sexual abuse cases being reported in Itasca County.

Some say this is cause for concern, as more residents continue to work or learn from home, eliminating the access to easily report when abuse is happening in the home.

“I also like to encourage community members right now to be mindful of the fact that you might have family or community members around you that may be going through this violence right now,” said Mandie Aalto, executive director of Advocates for Family Peace.

Staff at Advocates for Family Peace, Support Within Reach, and Itasca County Family and Child Services continue to be available 24/7 for those in need of assistance.

Advocates for Family Peace – 218-326-0388 (Itasca County) 218-248-5512 (Northern St. Louis County)

Support Within Reach – 218-326-5008

Itasca County Family and Child Services – 218-327-2941



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