18 New Cases of COVID-19 Reported in Crow Wing County as Cluster Spreads
18 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last two weeks in Crow Wing County.
The cases came from a cluster that started in Cass County, which now includes 29 cases with specimen collection dates between May 12 and June 11. So far, officials have found 15 cases in Pine River, 9 cases in Backus, 2 in Longville, one in Pequot Lakes, one in Motley, and one in Pillager. Six of the cases have been hospitalized, and one person has died. The cases range in age from 5 to 74, with a median age of 50, according to Crow Wing County Administration.
The 18 cases in Crow Wing County residents include 11 cases in Brainerd, with 3 cases in Breezy Point, 2 in Baxter, one in Merrifield, and one in Pequot Lakes. Specimen collection dates range from May 8 to June 3. Two of the cases have been hospitalized, but to date, there have been no deaths among the Crow Wing County cases. Overall, these cases range in age from 15 – 80 years with a median age of 61 years.
Among the total cases in both counties, 5 attended the same Mother’s Day celebration and are believed to have been the source of infection for several other cases in the clusters. However, health officials said the fact that only some but not all of the new Crow Wing and Cass County cases have ties to earlier cases suggests that community spread is occurring in the area.
Despite efforts to provide vaccinations to area residents, health officials are concerned the cluster will continue to grow if more residents do not take preventive measures such as getting vaccinated or, if not vaccinated, wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing.
Statewide, Minnesota’s overall vaccination rate stands at 67.2% of people 16 or older who have received at least one dose. In Crow Wing County, the vaccination rate to date is 57%.