February 18, 2021


Important COVID updates from the Cook Hospital

Per Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines out-of-state and international travel is highly discouraged. CDC recommends a COVID test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for seven full days. Even if you test negative you should stay home and quarantine for seven full days. Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days whether you test or not. Based on this guidance, we are unable to restrict your visit, but request that you consider refraining from visiting residents in the Care Center after returning from any travel out of state until your 14-day quarantine is complete. Ninety-nine percent of long-term care facilities have had a case of COVID in a resident. We are one of a very small number of facilities in the state who have not had a COVID positive resident. We ask that you consider following the recommendations from the CDC when you consider visiting our residents after travel.
The Care Center is currently open to general visits to our residents. All visits must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance for those who are interested. Infection control guidelines must be followed, including hand hygiene, social distancing, and wearing of personal protective equipment. The beauty shop in the Care Center will also be opening soon. The beauty shop volunteers will be following the same protocols as our employees. Our residents are very excited to have this service return. Both the general visits and beauty shop are allowed based on the county positivity rates. This is something that can change quickly. In the event it does change, families will be notified via Group Cast messaging.
Lastly, we will be hosting a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic for individuals who are 65 years and older. Feb. 24, 25, and 26 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. each day at the Cook Community Center. Please refer to the Cook Hospital website www.cookhospital.org or Cook Hospital Facebook page for sign-up information. If you do not have Internet access, please call 218-259-6055.

After 'mild' winter through January, temps sink to possible record lows


Early this winter, Minnesotans felt they were being treated to a very mild winter with few snowstorms or freezing weather. This all lasted into January, but when February entered the fray, Mother Nature came back with below zero weather for many days. These freezing temperatures will most likely set several records for cold weather.
Subzero temperatures engulfed the majority of 10 states last Tuesday morning, part of a bitter Arctic blast hitting the north central United States. The freezing temperatures of 20 to 40 below zero were set to dominate the areas for more than a week with northeastern Minnesota one of them. The freezing cold along with gusty winds brought dangerously cold wind chills of as low as 50 below zero which was reported in Ely on Saturday.
A record from 1875 for the Twin Cities could have been set this past weekend. Back then, 146 years ago, the temperature recorded was 25 below. The coldest day in Twin Cities history that was recorded was in 1888 when it dropped to 41 below zero.
Meanwhile, up north in the Beatty Swamp, the temperature has been recorded at 41 below or possibly even colder. This area hasn't seen temperatures above zero for around two weeks. Before that, northeastern Minnesota had been enjoying a mild winter with temperatures remaining in the 20s above zero.
The good news is that temps are slated to rise later this week hitting a projected 30 degrees above zero on Monday of next week.
Of course, temperatures won't hit the record 60 below zero that this area experienced 25 years ago. There hasn't been a heavy snowfall this winter, so far, though.

New COVID-19 cases drop as vaccines take hold


The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is slowing down in new cases. This could be due to the widespread use of the various vaccines. Locally, there have only been eight new cases this past week. Orr has had no new cases with 84 having been reported before last week. Crane Lake had one new case to go to 10 total cases, while Cook had two new cases for a total of 148. Angora reported one new case for a total of 38, while Britt had two new cases for a 110 total reported. Tower had one new case to go to 86, while Ely also only had one new case to go to 156.
The total number of cases worldwide rose to 108,814,252, up 2,651,716 from 106,162,536. The number of deaths reported worldwide rose to 2,399,866 up from 2,317,201 or an increase of 82,665. The total number of cases reported in the United States rose to 27,683,116 from 27,044,896. Total deaths in the USA rose to 485,154 from 463,338 or 21,816. For Minnesota, the total cases reported rose to 474,169 from 468,682 or an increase of 54,897. The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Minnesota rose to 6,378 or an increase of 76.
There have been 6,914,135 tests in Minnesota with 25,047 hospitalized, while last week there were 43,554 tests and 58 hospitalized.
With the apparent downturn in coronavirus cases, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has eased up on the limits of customers for restaurants and indoor gatherings.


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