Itasca County Residents Reflect on Gratitude One Year Since Pandemic Began

41 Percent of Itasca County's Population Has Started Vaccination Efforts

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – In Itasca County, the COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 people continues to increase steadily, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

41 percent of the county’s population has begun their vaccination efforts.

Over 45,000 residents live in the county, and health officials report nearly 10,000 have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Itasca County Public Health reports 76 percent of seniors are vaccinated.

Aside from the numbers, health officials and area residents are speaking out about the gratitude they have and continue to find one year into this challenging pandemic, especially with the Easter holiday ahead.

Grand Rapids resident Karen Arnold and her husband came down with COVID-19 recently. She says they stayed isolated and to themselvesĀ for most of the year until her husband recently attended a hockey game in Cloquet. Arnold can’t confirm this is where the exposure came from but believes there’s a good chance.

“It’s so scary when your husband has to drop you off at the door, and you walk in by yourself and you’re just left there to face with whatever happens. I’m so thankful to still be here for Easter and being able to celebrate it,” said Arnold.

As Arnold continues to recover from COVID-19, others in the community are asking their peers to do their part to stop the spread of the virus.

“Like me, a lot of kids are still too young to get vaccinated, so we’re depending on our friends who are over 16, our employers, and the adults in the community to do the right things and most of them are,” said Caroline Ahcan, a high school sophomore and local restaurant worker.

Health officials urge vaccinated residents to continue social distancing, properly wearing masks, and avoid large gatherings.

Two of the virus variants, including the more transmissible U.K. variant, has been detected in the county.

Click here for updated information from Itasca County Public Health.


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