Situation Update for Friday, Oct. 16

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed a record-breaking 2,287 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the state’s case total to 119,145.

Thirteen COVID deaths were also reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,212.

Of those deaths, 1,559 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of those cases, 12,169 were health care workers.

Ten new probably cases were also reported by antigen testing, bringing the total probable COVID case count to 251.

To date, over 2.43 million PCR tests have been completed, with 17,764 antigen tests completed. Yesterday, over 43,600 PCR tests were conducted and 772 antigen tests completed.

MDH recorded seven new COVID cases and one new death in Beltrami County, bringing the county’s cumulative totals to 714 with seven deaths. The county’s latest death was a resident in their early 90s. Locally, the county is reporting that there have been 102 new COVID cases this week, with 110 COVID patients currently in isolation. Almost 600 Beltrami COVID patients are out of isolation, but four local residents are hospitalized with COVID symptoms.

MDH also reported 15 new cases in Cass County, for a total of 289 cases and four deaths; five new cases in Clearwater County, total of 64 cases; 22 new cases in Hubbard County, total of 264 cases and two deaths; 21 new cases and one new death in Itasca County, total of 638 cases and 17 deaths; seven new cases in Koochiching County, total of 156 cases and four deaths; six new cases in Mahnomen County, total of 85 cases and one death; and 11 new cases in Roseau County, total of 172 cases.

Beltrami County’s latest COVID-19 case rate, according to the state’s safe learning data, increased by over 16 points in the latest report, from 23.2 cases to 39.68 cases per 10,000 people for the two week period ending Oct. 3.

Nearby counties also saw increases, though not as drastic, such as Cass County, from 26.19 to 29.6, Clearwater County, 10.21 to 12.48, and Hubbard County, from 31.16 to 39.31.

School districts are advised to use a learning model based on these case rates, and recommend elementary students in hybrid classes and middle and high school students in distance learning if case rates are between 30 and less than 50.

Bemidji Schools Superintendent Tim Lutz says the learning model recommendation looks at other items beyond the case rate, such as which age groups the majority of cases are concentrated in, before making drastic changes to the learning plans. The school board is scheduled for a regular meeting this Monday.

Other nearby counties that saw case rate increases include:

  • Itasca County, from 23.45 to 39.16
  • Lake of the Woods County, from 7.88 to 28.88
  • Mahnomen County, from 10.9 to 29.06

Koochiching County saw a case rate decrease, from 21.35 to 11.86.


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 events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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