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Itasca Co. gives update on COVID case totals, focuses on mental health amid pandemic

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ITASCA, CO.-- Itasca County health leaders gave an update Thursday morning on the county's Covid-19 cases as numbers continue to rise.

As of Thursday, the county is reporting 627 cases total. 223 of those have been reported in the last two weeks.

10-residents are currently hospitalized with 3 in the ICU. One new death was reported over the weekend.

During the update, leaders wanted to put a special focus on mental health and how to cope with changes related to COVID-19.

They said the suicide rate in Minnesota has gone up 32% for people with mental illness since the start of the pandemic.

Officials said Itasca County suicide rates mirror that of the state.

They added it's important to understand the hardships people are facing day-to-day.

"I want to point out that change is hard and uncertain. It creates stress and maybe compels us to act and speak in ways we normally would not do. We need now more than ever kindness and to treat each other with grace and understanding, "said Kelly Chandler with the Itasca County Public Health Dept.

Health leaders said it's important to stay connected with people and not isolate during these times. Even if you can't see loved ones in person, you can connect with them virtually or by phone.

If you're struggling with mental health and need resources you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.

Jessie Slater

Evening Anchor and Reporter

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