State health officials are citing concern about the rise in cases, largely fueled by the COVID delta variant.
Sanford Bemidji’s Dr. David Wilcox described variants as mutations of the virus genetic sequence. These mutations, like the ones seen in the delta variant, make the virus more efficient at spreading and infecting people.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well as the Johnson & Johnson, are effective against severe illness and death from COVID-19 and its variants, but the CDC is recommending even vaccinated people return to masking while indoors in places of high transmission.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said there are no plans to return to mask mandates at this time, but health guidance for schools this fall will be discussed in the coming days.
According to the CDC COVID tracker, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, and Hubbard counties are in moderate COVID-19 transmission.
Beltrami County, over the last seven days, has had 1.3 percent COVID positivity with three new hospital admissions for COVID in the last week.
Around 45 percent of the county’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Clearwater County, there is 1.65 percent COVID positivity, with almost 34 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.
Hubbard County’s positivity percentage is a bit higher, at 3.37 percent, with around 37 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cass County has 2.19 percent COVID positivity, with almost 41 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.
Lake of the Woods County to the north has high rates of community transmission, with a 14.81 percent positivity. Around 46 percent of the eligible population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.