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Cook County has more active COVID than any previous stage of pandemic

Despite having the highest vaccination rate in the state among the local population, a recent uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in Cook County has public health and healthcare workers concerned.

“We have as much COVID, active COVID, in our community right now as we’ve ever had, and this is something to pay attention to,” said Dr. Kurt Farchmin, a local physician at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais.

There’ve been at least 13 additional cases of COVID-19 reported in Cook County during the past week. The overall case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 135.

Group gatherings and community spread are the reasons for the recent uptick during the past two weeks, Farchmin said during an interview March 17 on WTIP.

“We’ve got a lot of COVID in the community and we expect to see it for some time,” Farchmin said.

On the vaccine front, a total of 2,500 Cook County residents, which equates to more than 46 percent of the population, have received the first dose of the vaccine. Among those, more than 2,045 people have received the second dose as well and are fully vaccinated.

Local public health officials announced on WTIP this week that 400 vaccines will be administered this week in Cook County during an event today (March 18) at the community center in Grand Marais.

At this week’s vaccination event, approximately 100 people will receive their second dose of the vaccine and approximately 300 people will receive their first dose.

Listen to the audio below to hear the full interview with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs and Farchmin from March 17.