City council briefed on local COVID situation

COVID infections are the highest they’ve ever been in Beltrami County, but hospitalizations are not at the same levels they were last year during the November surge of COVID-19.

Beltrami County Public Health Director Megan Heuer and Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota CEO Susan Jarvis delivered a presentation on the local COVID situation to the Bemidji City Council last night and ended their briefing with these remarks.

Heuer said that local vaccine incentives are coming soon through a partnership with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

The virus is expected to peak in another two weeks locally.

Jarvis noted that this area has always fallen behind the national trends, which do show decreasing cases, especially in the South.

There are 328 active cases in Beltrami County.

Last Friday, Heuer reported there were 359 active cases, the highest there have been in the county since the pandemic began.

Heuer said cases are in every age group, but cases among children are much higher than they had been in previous surges.

Seventeen patients are hospitalized with COVID at Sanford Bemidji, with three vaccinated patients.

Heuer said that vaccinated hospitalized patients tended to have significant comorbidities.

Four unvaccinated patients are in the ICU for COVID.

No ventilators are currently being used.

Of the 3,546 new COVID cases reported by the state Monday, 59 were in Beltrami County, 39 were in Cass County, 10 were in Clearwater County, and 36 were in Hubbard County.

Data reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Monday generally includes information gathered Friday before 4 p.m.

Of the 21 COVID deaths reported Monday, one was in Cass County, a resident in their early 50s.

Of the 7,133 new COVID cases reported by the state Tuesday, 136 were in Beltrami County, 69 were in Cass County, 23 were in Clearwater County, and 44 were in Hubbard County.

Data reported by MDH Tuesdays generally includes information gathered over the weekend, as well as on Monday.

Of the 12 new COVID deaths reported Tuesday, one was a Cass County resident in their late 70s.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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