BEMIDJI -- Beltrami County has reached a total of 200 recorded coronavirus cases since the pandemic made its way to Minnesota, with 33 currently being monitored by the Public Health department.
"The numbers have continued to increase fairly steadily," Beltrami County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen said on Tuesday. "For a while, we had weeks with 30 to 40 new cases, but that seems to have leveled off. It's still a significant number of cases for us though."
Over that time period, the number of active cases has ranged from the 30s to low 40s. Of the 33 active cases now tracked by the county, Borgen said two are hospitalized.
In northern Minnesota, Beltrami is only behind two counties in total cases, as St. Louis County has 453 and Clay County has recorded 752. Beltrami County has more cases than bordering Itasca County, which has a count of 134, and nearby Polk County at 135.
When looking at the state as a whole, there have been 1.07 million tests resulting in 57,162 positive cases, with 50,426 Minnesotans now out of the two-week isolation phase. There have been a total of 1,620 deaths from COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 1,233 being residents of long term care facilities or assisted living centers.
Across the state, there have been 5,346 hospitalizations, with 328 now in medical centers and 149 of them in ICU facilities.
Moving forward, Borgen said it's a 'wait and see' situation on the impact of the statewide facemask mandate.
"Facemasks are one piece of the puzzle, so we're hoping that reductions happen, but there are so many other interactions that people have where they may not be masking," Borgen said. "So, there are still a lot of challenges. So much of it really depends on how everyone adheres to wearing masks, maintaining distances and socializing in small groups."
Borgen said residents should keep this in mind as the pandemic continues.
"It would be good if people can pull back a little bit," Borgen said. "If people would like to socialize, make sure it's conducted in a safe manner and overall minimize exposure."