REGIONAL- Results have been tallied from the two-day COVID-19 testing event in Chisholm in late July, and out of a total of 1,679 people tested, just four of those people tested positive. …
REGIONAL- Results have been tallied from the two-day COVID-19 testing event in Chisholm in late July, and out of a total of 1,679 people tested, just four of those people tested positive.
“Going into this, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect for results,” said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health division director. “Typically, these free community events have yielded a very low positive test percentage, and we are glad that was the case here.”
Those who tested positive were contacted by phone within 72 hours and provided guidance on quarantining themselves and seeking medical care if needed.
“This provides us a point-in-time picture for the presence of the virus in this region,” Westbrook added, “and we have requested more detailed demographic information from the state regarding age and ZIP codes of those who tested because that will give us an even better understanding. But we are very appreciative of the tremendous response we saw, and the number of people who thanked us for providing the testing opportunity.”
The free tests were provided in cooperation between St. Louis County Public Health and the State Emergency Operations Center. The St. Louis County Fairgrounds in Chisholm donated use of its facilities, with only a minimal cost to cover electricity.
St. Louis County has seen a significant increase in recent weeks in the number of confirmed cases in the county. Community transmission has become the dominant form of exposure.
In early July, it was more rural parts of the county that saw a larger percentage of cases, but more recently the Duluth area has seen the largest growth.
The fastest growing age group for COVID-19 cases in St. Louis County now is 6-19-year-olds. In June, this age group represented only 2 percent of cases and now it is almost 14 percent.
As more and more young people become infected, the median age of people with confirmed cases continues to decrease. In April, the median age was 68 years old. By June, the median age had dropped to 54. It dropped again in July, and currently is 36 years of age.
The 20-29-year-old age group continues to have the highest number of cases, with 29 percent of the total cases in the county.
Everyone is urged to remain vigilant and continue practicing the prevention habits that have been emphasized for months: stay home when sick, wear a mask, maintain six feet of physical distancing, and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in St. Louis County and to view the county’s COVID-19 online interactive dashboard, visit stlouiscountymn.gov/covid19.