COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
What is it?
COVID-19, also known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The World Health Organization has now declared Coronavirus a pandemic.
The first Covid-19 case in the United States was confirmed in January, and the first case in Minnesota was confirmed March 6. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides a daily situation update.
What is Itasca County’s role in this?
Like health officials around the world, Itasca County Public Health continues to closely monitor the situation and review information as it comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We are also maintaining close communications with cities/townships, school districts and community service providers.
For now, our role is to help educate people by providing accurate information about the risk, signs or symptoms to watch for, and how best to protect yourself and your family.
How is COVID-19 affecting county services?
At this time, all county buildings remain open. Itasca County will continue to follow the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health on best practices for public spaces.
All county departments have established contingency plans to ensure we continue to provide essential services during these uncertain times.
The county’s work force and service delivery may be impacted by school closures and recommendations for immuno-compromised individuals to isolate themselves.
Anyone coming to any county building is asked to please follow the recommendations to minimize risk of spread. County employees have been advised to do the same.
- If you’re sick, stay home
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer
- Cover coughs and sneezes using a tissue or elbow
- Avoid touching face and mouth
- Practice social distancing
What can I do to keep myself or my family safe?
- See all of the bullet points listed in the previous answer, plus:
- Clean frequently touched surfaces often using a regular household detergent and water. This includes counter tops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles.
- Additional recommendations from MDH.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Itasca County Public Health now offers an information phone line: 218-327-6784. Our Public Health team will answer and return calls Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Minnesota Department of Health offers a hotline seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. That number is 651-201-3920.
Additional Information and Links
- PRESS RELEASE (04/01/2020): COVID-19 Confirmed Case
- Press Conference (03/30/2020)
- PRESS RELEASE (03/29/2020): COVID-19 Confirmed Case
- PRESS RELEASE (03/26/2020): COVID-19 Closure
- Resources for COVID-19 - Updated (03/20/2020)
- BlueCross & BlueShield COVID-19 FAQ
- ISD-318 Resources for COVID-19
- COVID-19 Situational Update (03/16/2020)
- CDC COVID-19 Information
- MDH COVID-19 Information