North Branch,

North Branch Schools continue to be exceptions to COVID “rules”

As the 2020-2021 school year winds down, the North Branch Area Schools has had an opportunity to take a step back and look at how they fared over the past year, plus examine how any residual COVID affects will impact next school year. In doing so, Superintendent Sara Paul said they have looked at this past year in terms of how everything that has happened lines up with the district’s core goals.
Isanti County,

INFORM, VACCINATE, REPEAT: Isanti County Public Health’s COVID efforts continue, however minimal percentage increases noted

Isanti County Health and Safety Coordinator Molly Wiemann is starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to providing COVID-19 vaccination updates to the Isanti County Board of Commissioners: the county is working very hard to vaccinate as many residents as possible, but the county continues to be one of the lowest percentages in the state.
Isanti County,

Isanti County Public Health shares COVID-19 vaccination updates

As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, Isanti County Public Health continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines. Isanti County Public Health administered their first COVID-19 vaccines in January, and has since given over 11,000 COVID-19 vaccines. In an average year, ICPH usually gives around 200 vaccines. Isanti County...

COVID-19 hospitalizations increase in middle-aged, unvaccinated adults

Amery, Wis. – COVID-19 hospitalizations across HealthPartners have increased by more than 200 percent over the past month, driven largely by middle-aged adults who have not yet been vaccinated. In April, the average age of hospitalized patients was 57, compared to 65 during the surge in November 2020. More than...

The Class of COVID, part deux

Behind Amery’s Class of 2021 are an array of memories, before them lies all of their dreams. Within them they have everything they need for success, despite around them a world nobody ever could have imagined. While the graduation class previous to them saw nearly everything cancelled, the Class of...
Isanti County,

Despite county’s efforts, COVID vaccinations lagging

While Isanti County Public Health has administered nearly 10,000 COVID-19 vaccines since they became available, frustrations were aired at the May 5 Isanti County Community Health Board meeting regarding the low percentage of the county’s population that has been vaccinated. A member of the audience shared that the New York...
Polk County,

A year of COVID leaves Polk County unemployment rates down

When numbers were tabulated in March, one year into COVID-19, Polk County’s unemployment rate was 6.1%, a bit lower than what it was one year ago, but still the highest percentage of 10 area counties. April 21, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary March 2021 unemployment...
Polk County,

COVID cases on the rise, but so are vaccinations

Polk County has recently seen a rise in COVID cases according to Polk County Community Service’s Tonya Eichelt, during a COVID-19 update to the Polk County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, April 20. She said, “From March 1 to the beginning of April, we had 158 cases and from April 4...
Polk County,

Free COVID Tests in Polk County

Friday April 30th, 2021 - The Polk County Health Department is hosting free COVID-19 testing. These are the less invasive saliva test and not the nasal swab. Testing is done every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Polk County Plaza in Balsam Lake. Attendees can pre-register at or register when they arrive. For more information go to
Isanti County,

COVID vaccinations offered to students

The Isanti County Public Health is continuing to offer specialized vaccination clinics in addition to their regular clinics, with ones coming up geared specifically for area students aged 16 and older. ICPH recently announced they will be providing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for Isanti County students 16 and older. While the...
Balsam Lake,

Appointments available for COVID-19 vaccine in Balsam Lake for age 16 and over

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Wisconsin residents ages 16 and older beginning Monday, April 5. Polk and Burnett Counties have partnered to host a drive thru vaccination clinic in Balsam Lake. All eligible Wisconsin residents can sign up at the Polk County Health Department website at through the Polk County Health Department Facebook page or through the Burnett County Health Department website at or the Burnett County Health Department’s Facebook page. These sites are updated weekly with vaccine and appointment availability. When available, the clinic offers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is not available at this location.

Letter to the editor: Also imagine if

Imagine if : Trump would have responded to Covid-19 like Canada, Japan and most of Europe. He didn’t. Because he refused to properly address the epidemic, 200,000 Americans needlessly died according to a February 10 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet. Jeffrey Benny. Cambridge.
Isanti County,

Several COVID vaccination clinics available

Besides weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics being held at the Government Center or the Cambridge Middle School, Isanti County Public Health has announced three additional vaccination clinics will be held at different locations next week. The three clinics will be held:. •Tuesday, April 20, from 4 - 6 p.m. at St....
Balsam Lake,

Polk/Burnett Co Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Tuesday April 6th, 2021 - The Polk and Burnett County Health Departments have partnered to host a drive-thru vaccination clinic in Balsam Lake. All eligible Wisconsin residents are able to sign-up through the Polk County Health Department or Burnett County websites or through either of their Facebook pages. The websites are updated weekly with vaccine and appointment information availability. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all state residents age 16 and older on Monday.
Rush City,

New variant of COVID-19 may be spreading across area

The east-central Minnesota region has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases possibly due to a new variant. Rush City Schools interim Superintendent Brent Stavig advised parents and the community to not let their guard down about safety concerns around COVID-19 during the March 18 Rush City School Board meeting. “Do...
North Branch,

North Branch celebrates the dedication of the COVID Response Team

Keeping students in school, and keeping students and teachers safe, has been the priority for the COVID Response Team through North Branch Area Public Schools and Chisago County Public Health. During the North Branch School Board meeting March 11, Superintendent Sara Paul highlighted the positive working relationship between the district...