The Potluck

Cook County reports first COVID-19 death, ending status as only Minnesota county without one

By: - December 1, 2021 12:39 pm

Lake Superior shore in Tofte, Minn. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer

Cook County reported its first COVID-19 death on Tuesday, ending its unique status as the only one of Minnesota’s 87 counties not to have reported a single death due to the virus. 

“Our sympathies go out to the loved ones during their time of loss,” said Kimber Wraalstad, North Shore Health Administrator, in a statement. “As COVID-19 continues to impact Cook County, everyone should follow the recommended public health guidance to protect one another and keep each other safe and well.”

Cook County health officials were unable to divulge any other information about the death, citing medical privacy. The Cook County death was reflected in Wednesday’s statewide tally of deaths and infections. 

The North Shore county is sparsely populated, with just 5,539 year-round residents, but it attracts many recreational tourists who visit lake resorts or other destinations along Lake Superior. It had among the highest vaccination rates in the state: 75% of people 18 and older have completed their vaccination series, according to state health department data. 

Minnesota is facing a surge in COVID-19 infections, nearing 2020’s record for hospitalizations. All adults are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine boosters in the state.

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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

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