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COVID-19 cases in county at 27

BROWN COUNTY — As of Monday, Brown County has 27 positive COVID-19 cases. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases has been found in the young population.

In a press release Brown County Public Health said of the ten new cases since June 10 — when Phase III of Gov. Tim Walz’ reopening plan started — seven of the individuals are in the 19-28 age range.

Blue Earth County has seen a larger spike in COVID-19 cases, the majority of these cases among the 19 to 25-year-old demographic.

COVID-19 is perceived as not being as serious in young adults. Public Health warned even if true, younger people have parents, grandparents, coworkers, or people they may serve in the workplace that could be at risk for serious illness.

Attending large gatherings at bars and restaurants or private gatherings without social distancing and a cloth face cover is causing an increase in the spread of COVID 19 among this age group.

None of the cases in Brown County have been linked to a specific source. Brown County Public Health Director Karen Moritz said Public Health is conducting case investigations and contract tracing of lab-confirmed cases, but no common connection has been found.

Brown County’s 27 positive cases are relatively small compared to Nicollet or Blue Earth County, but this is likely due to Brown County having a smaller population. Moritz said it was likely more Brown County residents had COVID-19 but had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

Public Health is encouraging people to practice everyday health habits outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health.

• Practice social distancing, keeping 6 feet away from others when possible.

• Wear a face mask in public settings where distancing is difficult to maintain.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer when soap is not available.

• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

With an upcoming holiday weekend, people are encouraged to think about options to prevent the spread. Outdoor gatherings of 25 people or less with social distancing or indoor gatherings of 10 people or less with social distancing are recommended. Staying home is the safest option.

People with symptoms are encouraged to get tested. The COVID-19 test is available in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield. People with symptoms should call ahead for virtual screening. Providers will determine if a patient should come in for a test.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that people with symptoms stay home until they feel better, it has been 10 days since they first felt sick, and they have had no fever for the last three days, without using a medicine that lowers fevers.

Individuals in close contact with coworkers or household members who have COVID-19 should self-isolate for 14 days (10 days for critical workers).

“Since symptoms can develop from 2 to 14 days after exposure, it’s important for people who have been in close contact with a coworker or household member to self-isolate for 14 days. A negative test does not mean an individual can return to work. A future test may be positive,” Moritz said. “By self-isolating for 14 days, you can help keep our vulnerable neighbors and community safe.”

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