Aitkin County sees 1st coronavirus-related death, Crow Wing records 14th
Confirmed cases are continuing to rise at a much more rapid pace in Crow Wing County than other surrounding counties. Of 223 cases now confirmed among county residents, 79 have been reported in the last 14 days with 10 new positives reported Wednesday alone.
Minnesota Department of Health officials reported the first COVID-related death in Aitkin County Wednesday, Aug. 5, along with the 14th death in Crow Wing County.
The Aitkin County resident was a person in their 80s who lived in a private residence.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family, friends and loved ones as we receive this heartbreaking news,” stated Erin Melz, Aitkin County public health supervisor, in a news release. “Aitkin County Public Health and all Aitkin County employees extend our deepest sympathies during this difficult time.”
As of Wednesday, 29 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded among Aitkin County residents, a figure slowly on the rise. Cases have nearly doubled in the county in a month, from 15 on July 5 to 29 Aug. 5.
“On behalf of Riverwood, we extend our deep condolences to the family of the patient who died,” stated Dr. David Taylor, emergency medicine physician and chief medical officer at Riverwood Healthcare Center. “At Riverwood, we are well prepared to care for patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is an infectious illness with a higher mortality rate than we see with influenza or other infectious diseases. That’s why we must continue to do all that we can to prevent the spread to others, especially those who are older or who have underlying medical conditions and more likely to get seriously ill from it.”
The Crow Wing County resident was a woman in her 70s, according to county officials, who died July 23.
A spokesperson from Sanford Health, which owns Good Samaritan Society-Bethany in south Brainerd, said Wednesday there were no new cases or deaths among residents since the end of June. One additional employee tested positive in that time frame, bringing the running total to 30 positive employees. All but one employee has recovered as of Wednesday. Eleven of Crow Wing County’s 14 deaths were among those in the facility.
Confirmed cases are continuing to rise at a much more rapid pace in Crow Wing County than other surrounding counties. Of 223 cases now confirmed among county residents, 79 have been reported in the last 14 days with 10 new positives reported Wednesday alone. Fifty-nine residents who’ve tested positive remain within the time period expected for those with the disease to be isolated.
Crow Wing County is now second among seven area counties for its per capita caseload, after trailing Morrison County for months. With approximately 65,055 residents as of the 2019 U.S. Census population estimate, there are 34.38 positive cases per 10,000 residents. Mille Lacs County has also surpassed Morrison in that statistic with 26.26 cases per 10,000. Morrison County’s reported cases amount to 24.56 per 10,000. Todd County remains well in the lead when it comes to total case numbers and per capita cases, although the rate of new cases reported in that county slowed significantly from its steep rise in late May and early June.
COVID-19 data as of Aug. 5
Aitkin — 29 (+1 since Aug. 2), with one death (+1).
Cass — 67 (+9), with two deaths.
Crow Wing — 223 (+17), with 14 deaths (+1).
Mille Lacs — 69 (+5), with three deaths.
Morrison — 82 (-1), with one death.
Todd — 421 (+3), with two deaths.
Wadena — 24 (+1).
NOTE: These numbers are cumulative since March 21 and many are likely out of isolation. The number of those no longer needing isolation is not reported on a county-level basis by the state.
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