More than half of MN counties have substantial or high spread of COVID

State health officials confirmed the latest CDC numbers showing 44 Minnesota counties have a “substantial” or “high” spread of COVID-19.  Last week, 14 counties were in those categories.  The CDC recommends indoor masking in those areas, no matter the vaccination status.

The CDC COVID tracker still says Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater and Hubbard Counties have moderate COVID spread.

Over the last week, 19 new COVID cases were reported in Beltrami County, with a 2.78 percent testing positivity. Nearly 46 percent of the entire population is fully vaccinated, with over 55 percent of the eligible population vaccinated. Four residents are hospitalized for COVID-19.

Clearwater County’s positivity rate is at 6.25 percent, with around 41 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated. Hubbard’s positivity rate is 5.33 percent, with nearly 44 percent of the eligible population vaccinated. Cass County’s positivity rate is 5.78 percent, with nearly 48 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said there was a spike in cases the last two weeks of July.  She says getting vaccinated is still the best protection against the virus. Anyone who gets their first shot between July 30 and Aug. 15th will receive a $100 Visa gift card.

As of today, Minnesotans can claim their incentive at

More than 4,400 vaccinated Minnesotans have been infected with COVID, but that is still well below one percent.  So-called breakthrough cases are quite rare.

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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