Cook County line. Submitted photo
Submitted photo

Case count for COVID-19 climbs in Cook County ahead of vaccine event for kids

The case count for COVID-19 continues to climb in Cook County. Public health officials reported 14 new cases among the local population in the past week, among the highest weekly totals compared to any other stage of the pandemic.

The COVID case count in Cook County has climbed steadily this fall, with 70 cases reported since early September. The total case for Cook County is now 272.

Statewide, Minnesota health officials reported 32 more people have died from complications of COVID-19, the Associated Press reports. More than 3,700 new cases were reported in Minnesota on Thursday as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 across the state climbed back above 1,000, including 232 in intensive care.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz urged parents to get their kids vaccinated to help mitigate rising case numbers and help protect other children and the rest of their community.

“This surge has been pretty relentless,” Walz told reporters. “The numbers are not encouraging at this point in time and it’s at a point where if we do things right — vaccinations and layered mitigations — we can make sure that we’re not reporting 41 people dying and over 1,000 people in the hospital because of COVID.”

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said much of the recent increase in virus cases statewide has been happening in younger children, making the availability of the vaccine for this age group an important step toward mitigating spread of the virus.

“Too often last year, we seemed to be debating whether we were going to prioritize health or learning and this is a perfect combination in bringing those two things together,” Malcolm said. “They were never in conflict, but this is our best way to support not only the health of our children and our teachers but the broader community as well.”

Cook County Public Health and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will host a vaccination event next week for youth ages 5-11. The first booster shots in a public vaccination event took place today at the community center. More vaccination events are scheduled for November.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager Nov. 8 for an update on vaccination events and the recent uptick in the case count locally

The Associated Press contributed to this report.