Only 3 counties in Minnesota without confirmed COVID-19 cases as Lake, Stevens report 1st cases

Lake County in northern Minnesota and Stevens County in west central Minnesota reported their first confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday. There are now only three counties in the state that have yet to report a case of the novel coronavirus

Lake County authorities say the infected person is an adult resident of the county in their 50s. The Minnesota Department of Health is working to identify and notify anyone who may have come into contact with the infected person. Those people will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Stevens County has not released additional information on its patient.

“News of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lake County brings with it a new reality for all Lake County residents,” Rich Sve, Chairman of the Lake County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement. “Understandably, there are many concerns and some angst. In Lake County we have a strong sense of community and public good. Together we will see this through with positive results.” 

Sve is encouraging everyone in the county to follow all of the recommendations to mitigate the risk of spreading this virus to family, friends and neighbors and front-line essential workers.

Of the state’s 87 counties, 84 have now reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, although state health officials say the coronavirus is likely circulating in every Minnesota community whether a county has a confirmed case or not. 

The three counties with that have not reported cases of COVID-19 yet are Cook, Hubbard and Lake of the Woods. 

Cook County, which makes up the northeast corner of Minnesota and is home to popular North Shore destinations such as Grand Marais and the Lutsen Ski Resort, has repeatedly asked tourists, vacationers and people with cabins in the area to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel to the county

Officials say the county has limited health care infrastructure to handle COVID-19 cases.