FOLEY -- Benton and Sherburne Counties are tied for last in the state when it comes to the percentage of residents that have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health Dashboard the two local counties, along with Isanti, are all at just 29 percent.  Meanwhile, Stearns county is lagging just behind the statewide average at 42 percent of its residents that have had at least one shot.  Statewide 48 percent of Minnesotans have at least one shot.

The top counties in the state are Cook at 74 percent, Olmstead at 64 percent, and Big Stone at 63 percent.

Benton County Community Health Supervisor Sam Hageman says the county has continued to struggle to fill its clinics with those who live or work in Benton County.  Plus, she says they've had increasingly high rates of 'no shows' the day of the clinics.

Hageman says they are unsure of why the vaccination rates are so low in Benton County. They are still trying to identify if this is due to personal choice, or if residents are still struggling to figure out where to go to get vaccinated.

Benton County Public Health will be shifting gears and will be focusing more time and resources on community outreach and education.

Resources on how to get connected to a vaccination site will be provided on this page: https://www.co.benton.mn.us/654/COVID-19-Vaccine

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