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St. Louis Co. officials: Rise in cases not related to new test site

St. Louis Co. officials: Rise in cases not related to new test site

WDIO-TV
Updated: September 25, 2020 09:43 PM

St. Louis County officials say a significant increase in newly-reported COVID-19 cases is not related to the opening of a new saliva testing site in Duluth.

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On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 74 new cases in St. Louis County. The county says all but one of those cases were confirmed from testing conducted before the new testing site opened Wednesday.

The new cases are in people ranging in age from 5 to over 100. 19 of the cases are in people aged 18 to 24, while 18 of the cases involve residents of long-term care facilities.

"As we look at the data, we see two particularly troubling trends," said Public Health Division Director Amy Westbrook in a news release. "There is an increase in outbreaks in long term care facilities, and as many people know by now, it is our older populations that are most likely to suffer severe effects from this virus. But additionally, we continue to see a large number of cases linked to college-age students."

Westbrook said 14% of COVID-19 cases reported in the county in September have been related to the University of Minnesota Duluth. She said of cases associated with any college or university in the county, 97% are linked to private residences rather than dorms.

There have been ten deaths related to COVID-19 in the past week in St. Louis County. Nine of those deaths involved residents of long-term care facilities.

St. Louis County has an online COVID-19 dashboard at stlouiscountymn.gov/covid19.

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