Winona County reports 2 new cases of COVID-19, third death

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WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting a total of 16 positive cases of COVID-19 in Winona County.

Three of those individuals have died from the disease. The county says, due to limited testing, residents should not assume there are only 16 cases of COVID-19, nor should they believe those confirmed cases are necessarily interconnected. It is essential to stay safe with social distancing and follow the Governor’s Walz statewide order to remain at home except for limited exceptions to trips outside.

The MDH prioritizes testing for hospitalized patients, health care workers or their ill household contacts, and persons living or working in congregate living settings (e.g., corrections facilities, group homes, long-term care facilities) who have symptoms clinically compatible with COVID-19.

Until widespread testing becomes available, do not assume you can prevent contracting COVID-19 by only avoiding sick people. Besides not interacting with ill people, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from everyone. According to the U. S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), people can spread the virus even before they show symptoms of the disease. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Long before COVID-19 was known to exist, Winona County prepared and planned for this type of pandemic scenario. We have activated those plans, and we will serve and protect the people of Winona County to the very best of our ability. However, we cannot do it alone. We need all members of our community to their part.