Virus case in YMC, Lyon at 2

Agency: Patient recovering at Yellow Medicine Co. home

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in the area on Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases in Lyon County is now at two. Yellow Medicine County, meanwhile, had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

Countryside Public Health, the public health agency serving Yellow Medicine County, said the patient who tested positive is following isolation guidelines and is recovering at home.

Brown County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has also grown to two. Brown County Public Health said Tuesday that one of the individuals who tested positive is in their 60s and hospitalized, and the other individual is in their 40s and is recovering at home. On Monday, Martin Luther College in New Ulm announced that its president, Mark Zarling, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was being treated at an emergency facility.

While there have only been a few confirmed cases of coronavirus disease so far in the area around Lyon County, public health officials say the virus is likely circulating in our communities, and people should take precautions to help take care of themselves and others.

“We still want everyone to take into account that you could potentially have COVID-19 and not have symptoms,” said Lauren Mellenthin, emergency preparedness coordinator for Southwest Health and Human Services. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important for everyone to follow the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.

The news that Lyon County had two COVID-19 cases comes just a day after the MDH confirmed the county’s first case. The person who tested positive was from Lyon County, but is not currently in Minnesota, SWHHS said. Mellenthin explained that the person identified their home residence as being in Lyon County, and the MDH notified regional public health accordingly. Even if the person is not in Minnesota right now, it’s still important to act to slow the spread of coronavirus in Lyon County, she said.

On Tuesday, a Schwan’s spokesperson told the Independent an employee who worked at the company’s office on West College Drive prior to March 18 had tested positive for COVID-19. However, it’s still unknown if the Schwan’s employee was one of the cases confirmed by the MDH. The MDH and Southwest Health and Human Services said they are unable to identify individual COVID-19 patients for patient privacy reasons.

The total number of people in Minnesota who have tested positive for COVID-19 is at 689, the MDH said. Of those cases, 342 patients no longer need to be isolated.

There have been 17 deaths from COVID-19 reported in Minnesota so far, the MDH said.

Stacy Neubeck, communications and PR coordinator at Avera Marshall, said Avera Marshall staff are continuing to plan and prepare for COVID-19 response. She said areas of planning include managing equipment and staffing, as well as other factors, in the event that the area sees a sudden increase in COVID-19 patients.


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