Letter to the editor

Posted on:

November 4, 2021

Hubbard County continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases. While last fall we saw a rise and fall of numbers in October and November, this year we saw cases begin to rise at the end of July and have remained steady with 478 cases in September and 443 to date for October. The rate of transmission has been “high” in Hubbard County since the end of August, with a current 7-day positivity rate of 14%. Across Minnesota, COVID hospitalizations remain high, with greater Minnesota having a higher hospitalization rate than the metro area. The ages of new cases and hospitalizations grows younger. Hubbard County has seen 5 COVID deaths since the middle of September, our first since last February.

Everyone is weary of this pandemic and the disruptions to normal life that it continues to cause.  We, in public health, and in healthcare are sad to see the continued illness and loss of life, and overwhelmed healthcare systems are a risk for everyone needing any kind of medical care. It is even more frustrating knowing that there are safe and effective vaccines available free to the public that could help bring this pandemic to an end.

Currently 49.6% of Hubbard County residents are fully vaccinated. This rate is not sufficient to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus with the high level of transmission in our county. More than 50% of the population in our community is unprotected from infection, a breeding ground for continued illness and a risk to everyone, vaccinated, unvaccinated, and particularly our most vulnerable populations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you from severe illness, but also protects those around you. Vaccines are not politically motivated, but are a core public health measure relied upon since they first became available.

The good news is that vaccines are readily available now to more people than ever, including children as young as 5 years old. Please do your part to protect yourself, your family, and the community young and old, by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are already vaccinated and are eligible for a booster shot, please get one. If you have family or friends that you can encourage to get vaccinated, please do so. Inaccurate information is everywhere, finding a reliable source with facts (not fear) is important. If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccine, please talk to your medical provider or call Community Health at 218-237-5464 for non-judgemental, considerate, and factual information, as well as information about vaccine clinics. Local providers and pharmacies will also provide this service, find a location where you are comfortable and utilize it.

As always, stay home when you are sick, and practice good handwashing. Together we can move out of this pandemic, but it will take a full community effort.

Marlee Morrison

Director, CHI St. Joseph’s Health Community Health

Hubbard County Public Health



About CHI St. Joseph’s Health

CHI St. Joseph’s Health is a 25-bed critical access hospital serving communities in Hubbard, Becker, Cass and Wadena Counties since 1946. In recent years, CHI St. Joseph’s Health’s award-winning teams received several national honors including: The Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in surgery; Top 100 Critical Access Hospital, HealthStrong; WomenCertified’s America’s Best Hospitals Women’s Choice Award in obstetrics; and the Studer Group Fire Starter Healthcare Organization of the Month among other national, regional and state recognitions.

About CHI

Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest health systems, was formed in 1996 to strengthen the Catholic health ministry for the future. With deep roots in the tradition of expressing Christ’s love by caring for those in need, Catholic Health Initiatives serves more than four million people each year through acute care hospitals; long-term care, assisted and residential-living facilities; community-based health services; home care; research and development; and reference laboratory services.


Contact: Sonja Day
Communication/Marketing Manager
CHI St. Joseph’s Health
600 Pleasant Avenue
Park Rapids, MN  56470

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