A surge in positive COVID-19 cases in both Cass and Hubbard counties last week forced several area schools including Laporte to move to distance learning this week.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Cass County jumped from 189 last week to 230 as of Tuesday morning.

Only one of the 41 new cases was a school-age student from Remer, while the highest concentration ranged from age 61 to 82. There were 15 cases between age 21 and 49.

Based on ZIP codes given, seven people each are from the Cass Lake and Remer area, six from Hackensack, five from Backus, four each from Pine River and Pillager areas, and three each from Walker and Lake Shore.

The 14-day case rate sits at 25.84 with 75 cases in the current 14-day case rate.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota is 105,740 — about 7,000 more since last week. The death toll jumped to 2,087, an increase of 67 from last week.

Hubbard County has 171 cases and one confirmed death. In other area counties, Beltrami has 557 cases with five deaths, Crow Wing County 658 cases with 18 deaths and Itasca County has 461 cases and 16 deaths.

There were 13 confirmed deaths reported in the state last Wednesday, 10 Thursday, 14 Friday, seven Saturday, three Sunday and four Monday.

Of all the confirmed cases in Minnesota, 10,998 are health care workers. The number of people currently hospitalized also saw a dramatic increase over the last two weeks. There are 8,020 people hospitalized with 2,212 in ICU.

The Minnesota Department of Health continues to encourage Minnesotans to get tested for COVID-19 if they feel sick and to quarantine until the tests results are in.

As the virus continues to spread, the Department of Health encourages Minnesotans to continue following public health guidance by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, and staying home when sick. Even if you do not have symptoms, you can spread the virus to others.

Call the Sanford Walker Clinic (218) 547-7700 or Sanford Bemidji Cass Lake Clinic (218) 333-2559 to schedule an appointment. Both the Essentia Health Park Rapids Clinic and Deer River Hospital have drive-up testing sites.

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