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Public health leaders in Polk, Norman, Mahnomen counties urge COVID-19 precautions

Times Report
Quarantine example

With new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on a daily, significant rise in and in some cases around Polk County, Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health are asking the community to help slow the spread of the virus.

In Polk County, daily confirmed cases are approaching or exceeding 50, and two deaths have been reported this week, bringing the county’s total to 7. In Norman County, three deaths were reported over the last 24-hour period.

PCPH Director Sarah Reese and Sarah Kjono, Norman-Mahnomen Public Health director, have sent out the following information to remind the public of various precautions to take and also offer guidance:

Our communities have seen a rapid rise in individuals testing positive for COVID-19. This has resulted in slower test results, delay in investigation calls, and positive individuals self-notifying their close contacts and employer. Together We Can do our part to help slow the spread in our community by following these guidelines.

If You are Sick:

Stay home and get tested. While awaiting test results continue to stay home. You should isolate/separate yourself from others in your home, if at all possible (see Isolation Calendar). If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms but do not get tested; stay home until all three of these are true:

At least 10 days since your symptoms first started; and

Fever-free for 24 hours, without using fever reducing medicine; and

Symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

Isolation example

Contact with Someone who has COVID-19:

A close contact is someone that has been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19, for a total of 15 minutes or more during their infectious period. The infectious period is 2 days before the symptom onset or the testing date if you did not have symptoms. If you meet the definition of a close contact stay home and monitor your health for 14 days after your last day of exposure (see Quarantine Calendar). It is encouraged to get tested a week after last exposure. Regardless of a negative test, you still need to quarantine for 14 days.

Now more than ever, we need to work together to slow the spread. Please continue to practice social distancing, avoid gatherings, wear a face covering, wash your hands for 20 seconds, and be alert for symptoms. Thank you for keeping our family, friends, and neighbors healthy and safe. Together We Can get through this as a community.

Local public health is here to answer your questions and provide resources.

Visit the Polk County Coronavirus Response Hub (, the Minnesota Department of Health ( and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( websites for more COVID-19 information. Follow Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health on social media for local updates.