Initially tied to congregating and gatherings over the holiday weekend, Itasca County now stands at 91 laboratory-confirmed cases as of 9:00 a.m. Friday, July 17. This is an increase of 23 since July 7. The county has seen no additional deaths.

The surge in cases among residents also means additional follow-up with those exposed, said Kelly Chandler, Itasca County Public Health department manager.

“If you receive a phone call from Public Health, we request that you take the call so we can provide information and guidance on isolation, quarantine, symptoms for which to watch, and how to prevent further spread to friends, family, and the community,” said Chandler.

“Most of the positive cases have been very cooperative with our case interviewers and have taken the time to notify their close personal contacts of their case even prior to receiving a call from local public health. For those who have been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed positive case, meaning they were within six feet for at least 15 minutes, two days prior to the positive person developing symptoms or two days prior to the taking of a positive test, please self-quarantine and contact your medical provider to determine if testing is indicated.

“If you have had contact with somebody who has a pending test, please limit your movements outside your home as much as possible, social distance, mask in public spaces, and monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms.”

In Itasca County, several large retail businesses have joined those requiring mask-wearing by patrons. Local SuperOne stores now require masks by customers, effective immediately. Walmart and Target also now require masks to be worn by customers.

Itasca County’s Message Center is available for those with COVID-related issues and needs at 218-327-6784. Response calls will be made between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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