Northern Minnesota is state’s recent coronavirus hot spot

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Northern Minnesota has been the state’s COVID-19 hot spot in recent weeks, with more new cases per capita than elsewhere in the state.

Though President Donald Trump has hosted rallies in the region recently, with few wearing masks or physical distancing, health officials say it’s been much smaller get-togethers and “pandemic fatigue” that seem to be driving the increase.

Itasca County public health director Kelly Chandler says cases have been traced to events like weddings, and to smaller gatherings at bars and restaurants.

Itasca County has seen about a 30% growth in total positive COVID-19 cases over the past week, one of the highest increases in the state.