County Covid cases still rising rapidly
November 20, 2020
Carlton County broke another Covid-19 record last week, jumping from a cumulative total of 937 positive cases on Nov. 11 to 1,013 on Nov. 12, an increase of 76 new cases in a day.
From Wednesday to Wednesday, Nov. 11 to Nov. 18, the total number of cases in the county jumped by 313, from 937 to 1,250, and the number of deaths attributed to Covid went from seven to nine in that same seven-day period. By comparison, on Oct. 7, the cumulative cases in the county were at 320, with just one death.
More detailed numbers in the Nov. 12 weekly report from the state (released every Thursday) were equally grim.
The state's Nov. 12 report by zip code showed Covid cases climbing across the county, even in more rural parts of the county. From Nov. 5 to Nov. 12, the numbers in Cloquet went from 311 cases to 478, an increase of 167. Esko increased to 154 cases, a jump of 43 cases in a week. Moose Lake was up to 124 cases, an increase of 38 since the week before. Barnum showed 82 cases and Carlton 81, an increase of 25 and 24, respectively, since Nov. 5. In less-populated areas, the numbers are lower: Cromwell went up to 34 cases, up by nine from the week before. Wrenshall sits at 16, Kettle River at 14, Holyoke at nine and Sawyer at eight.
The news for schools was also bad. Nearly all Carlton County schools are either already doing distance learning or switching by the end of the month. The average number of positive cases per 10,000 people in the county (a specific measurement provided by the state for the schools) jumped from 20.26 in early October to 38.55 on Nov. 5. It doubled over the next week, coming in at 78.22, in the Nov. 12 report.
Cloquet schools superintendent Michael Cary said the school numbers from the state are about 10 days old by the time they're released, so the district has been trying to predict the numbers by looking at current cases. They can come pretty close - although the schools aren't privy to as much testing data - and he's expecting the Nov. 19 number to be well over 100.
Augustana Mercy Care Center, Inter-Faith Care Center, New Perspective Cloquet and Sunnyside Health Care Center are on the list of Carlton County senior living facilities that had or have Covid-19 exposure. Exposure is defined as a person diagnosed with Covid who either visited, worked, or lived at a congregate care facility while they were contagious. It doesn't necessarily mean that any residents were infected with the coronavirus.