ELY, MN -- St. Louis County Public Health leaders say the recent spike in COVID cases in the Ely area is growing, and now, they're urging residents to take precautions.
According to county spokespeople, in the last week, there have been 33 confirmed cases in Ely, which is 15% of the total cases for the entire county.
Some of the cases appear to be travel-related, while others are linked to social gatherings and youth sports.
"We know people are tired, and probably have been experiencing information overload about COVID precautions this past year," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Director. "But outbreaks such as what we've seen in several of our communities in the last two weeks makes it very clear that we can't let our guard down yet. Vaccinations are making a difference, but we still must all remain vigilant and do our part to minimize the spread of this virus."
If you have had close contact with someone who tests positive, you are advised to quarantine for 14 days whether you have symptoms or not.
According to county spokespeople, the exception is anyone who is fully vaccinated or got their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine more than two weeks ago. They do not need to quarantine unless they show signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
St. Louis County Public Health is working with the schools to provide testing kits for symptomatic students.
Students at Ely Memorial School were forced to revert to distance learning after a recent increase in cases within their building.
People also are encouraged to order and use the free at-home saliva test kits offered by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
COVID testing is also available in Ely at the Essentia Health Ely Clinic.
Click here to find other test locations. mn.gov/coivd19