BEMIDJI -- Two more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Beltrami County over the weekend, bringing the total to six.
According to County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen, the Minnesota Department of Health has communicated with one of the individuals and discovered they had traveled out of state, and they are still working to follow-up with the other individual.
In total, three of the county's cases had traveled to other states, one had gone to another country and one of the individuals had been to another county. Borgen said the county will have information on any travel activity related to the sixth case once MDH follows up.
"Most people we find who've contracted COVID-19 will be just asked to self-isolate at home," Borgen said. "As long as they're able to do that, then that's the only connection we'll have with them. The only time we get more involved is if the person has essential service needs, like for groceries, medication picked up, and sheltering, that's something we would potentially help with. For both of the new cases, we're not aware of those needs."
In counties surrounding Beltrami, the following numbers were available from MDH on Monday:
- Three cases in Cass County
- Two cases in Clearwater County
- Two cases in Itasca County
- One case in Koochiching County
In the state as a whole, there have been 29,260 tests, with 1,069 positive cases and 34 deaths. Since the first case, there have been 242 hospitalizations, while 549 people no longer need to be in isolation.
While community spread has been found in metro counties, though, it hasn't arrived in Beltrami County just yet.
"As far as we know, we have not had any cases that were community spread in the Beltrami County area," Borgen said. "Everyone we're aware of had been exposed in another state, country or community that's a distance away from Beltrami County. However, we certainly expect that there are cases of COVID-19 within the community and we just haven't been notified of a positive test."
Moving forward, Borgen said the department is continuing to encourage its previous message.
"The thing to remember is to stay strong with the social distancing piece," Borgen said. "People need to do a better job when they go shopping, it should be an individual event. If at all possible, you should go at off hours and maintain distance."
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