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County Covid-19 rates continue to climb


October 30, 2020

Carlton County saw its second death from Covid-19 this week — Esko pastor Jeff Walther — along with a sharp rise in the number of positive cases.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a total of 483 cumulative cases in Carlton County, a jump of 21 from the day before and a single day high for the county. Wednesday’s number represented a two-week rise of 128 cases, up from 355 on Oct. 14. It took two months for the number of cases to rise by that amount from July to September, so cases are climbing rapidly.

The state also breaks down the county numbers by zip code on a weekly basis, released every Thursday. By zip code, Cloquet was up to 166 cumulative cases on Oct. 22, a jump of 14 from the Oct. 15 report. Positive cases for the Carlton zip code jumped from 19 to 31, while Esko increased from 61 to 67, Barnum from 33 to 35 and Moose Lake from 60 to 63 over the same time period. Most other Carlton County cities have five or fewer cumulative positive cases.

Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 or who has been exposed to someone they think may have the disease is encouraged to seek testing.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19.

Tests are readily available now. If the person does not have symptoms, it is best to get tested between 5-7 days after  a high-risk situation. If the test is negative, they should get tested again around 12 days after the event. It can take 2-14 days for Covid-19 to develop, so even if someone tests negative once, they could still develop Covid-19 later and spread it unknowingly.

MDH is now including both confirmed and probable cases in its total; both are confirmed by testing, with the probable cases being positive antigen tests (for immune responses) and the confirmed cases the result of the more commonly used PCR testing (nasal swabs).

As of Oct. 22, the percent of positive tests in Carlton County was at 2.7 percent.

Local testing sites include CMH Raiter Clinic, Min No Aya Win Human Services Center, MedExpress Urgent Care in Cloquet, Gateway Family Clinic in Moose Lake and Cromwell Medical Clinic. The saliva testing clinic at the DECC in Duluth is free, doesn’t require a doctor’s order and offers quick results.


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