Beltrami County now at 37 current COVID-19 cases, total number crosses 150 since start of pandemic

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BEMIDJI -- The number of active coronavirus cases being currently tracked by Beltrami County Public Health has fallen below 40, but there are still dozens of individuals being monitored by the agency.

On Tuesday, Beltrami County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen said there were 37 cases being monitored by her department. The county has had active cases in the high 30s or more since the start of July.

"In these last three weeks, soon after the Fourth of July, we had a significant surge and it continued to ramp up," Borgen said. "Now, that situation appears to be calming a little bit."

According to Borgen, the number of tracked cases by the county will likely continue to be in a state of flux, with uncertainties still in the future.

"We're expecting the numbers to go up and down over this next period of time," Borgen said. "It's really hard to see how the numbers will go. We'll also need a little bit of time to see how the governor's facemask mandate might impact things."


Since the pandemic reached Minnesota in March, Beltrami County has had a total of 157 coronavirus cases. Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows Beltrami County has one of the higher counts in the state's northern area, trailing behind St. Louis County with 332 and Clay County with 717.

Beltrami is ahead of neighboring Itasca County, which has recorded 121 cases, and nearby Polk County, with a count of 117.

As part of its role in the pandemic situation, Beltrami County Public Health is available to assist families with confirmed cases in getting essential needs. However, despite the number crossing 100 in the last month, there have only been a few cases where the county needed to assist.

"The county is providing two individuals with shelter in the form of a hotel," Borgen said. "The county did help a family that had a need for groceries. There's been a handful of those. But we haven't had a significant number of people who've needed essential services."

At the statewide level, there have been 979,988 tests with 52,281 positive cases. There are now 45,987 out of the isolation period. Since the pandemic came to the state, there have been 1,580 coronavirus related deaths, with 1,210 of those being residents of long term care or assisted living facilities.

There have also been 5,028 hospitalizations since the pandemic began, with 294 currently in hospitals. Locally, according to Borgen, there are four hospitalized for COVID-19 in Beltrami County. Of the 294 in hospitals, 138 are in ICU facilities.

Moving forward, for COVID-19-related questions or complaints Borgen said Minnesotans can call a hotline operated by the state at (800) 657-3504.


Matthew Liedke is a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is originally from International Falls and now resides in Bemidji. He's a 2009 graduate of Rainy River Community College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. At the Pioneer, he covers government, politics, health and economic development. He can be reached at (218) 333-9791 or by email at
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