COVID-19 updates for Monday, Aug. 16

Beltrami County’s COVID-19 cases increased by 221 percent over the course of seven days.

Two weeks ago, the county was monitoring two cases, and on Friday, there were 94 active cases.

Beltrami County is considered to be an area of high COVID transmission, with masking indoors recommended regardless of vaccination status.

Some of the local cases are breakthroughs in fully vaccinated people.

According to a release from Public Health, a vaccine breakthrough is not a measure of vaccine efficacy, but a measure of the disease’s progression.

The vaccines are protecting people against severe illness and death, with 97 percent of patients entering hospitals for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Gov. Tim Walz announced the “Vax to School” incentive program will be extended another week. Any Minnesotan 12 and older that gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from July 30 to Aug. 22 can claim a $100 Visa gift card.

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