The Minnesota Department of Health has reported the first confirmed case of community transmission of COVID-19 in Nicollet County. The case was initially reported on Saturday, April 4 but details about the case were provided to Nicollet County Health and Human Services today. Community transmission means the individual did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. Not all suspected cases of COVID-19 are tested, so official case count of four is not representative of the total number of people in Nicollet County who have or had COVID-19.

As COVID-19 continues to spread in Minnesota, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe. Steps that everyone can take to slow the spread of the virus include:  

  • Limit your movement in the community beyond essential needs.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). These help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever-reducing medicine and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Governor Walz has put in place a stay at home order from March 27 to April 10. A stay at home order directs Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. By limiting social interactions, we decrease the chance of transmission of COVID-19 and help our health care sector prepare for increased demands. 

If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills or other essential services, dial 2-1-1, 651-291-0211 or 1-800-543-7709 or Text ‘MNCOVID’ to 898211 and a Certified Community Resource Specialist from the United Way will help to locate available resources in your area. If you are living alone or isolated and wish to make telephone contact with a Nicollet County staff member, please call 507-934-8550.

More information about the coronavirus situation in Minnesota can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage. A state hotline for the public is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.