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YMCA in phase three

First confirmed COVID-19 case reported at facility since opening

Photo by Sam Thiel Pictured is the self-screening kiosk desk inside the Marshall Area YMCA where members stop to get their temperature taken.

MARSHALL — Nearly a month after reopening to the public, the Marshall Area YMCA reported a confirmed case of COVID-19, its first since the pandemic began.

Marshall YMCA Executive Director Tom Bolin said they were notified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) of the lab confirmed case, which occurred within their day camp program with potential exposure dates of June 29 and 30. Bolin added that when they received the news, they quickly took action with direction from both the Department of Health and Avera Marshall.

“When there is a positive test, the Department of Health and our local public health clinic gets involved with contact tracing. We have a plan with our reopening that we are following; if someone tests positive, we turn to the public health center, so we’ve been working with Avera on the tracing process,” Bolin said.

“The person who tested positive was involved with our day camp and they will identify who they’ve been in contact with recently and there are a number of people who if they were close to that person are contacted individually and need to be quarantined for 14 days,” he said.

In an updated announcement on Monday, the Marshall YMCA said if someone was not at the facility during those dates or was not identified to be in close contact with the positive case, they do not need to stay home unless symptoms begin to develop, but should still be monitoring for any symptoms should they arise.

Bolin said the facility will remain open, as well as the day camp program and they are asking community members to continue to take several precautions such as washing their hands often, avoiding touching of the eyes, nose and mouth, staying home when they are sick and consistent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and items.

“We are aware of who has been in close contact with the person who tested positive and both the day camp and the YMCA will remain open. It’s only affecting those in close contact with the confirmed case and it doesn’t affect any of our other members,” he said.

During the last month, the YMCA has gradually reopened more of its activities, with phase three of its reopening plan beginning last Monday. Bolin said the transition with each phase has gone well and the response from the community has been fantastic.

“It’s been really good. Right now, we are in phase three of our reopening plan and have gradually opened more and more things. Things have gone well despite having limited capacity, hours and space locations within the facility,” Bolin said. “The response has been positive; people are happy to get back to their routines as well as see other people and just get an in-person workout done.”

Bolin added all they can do is to continue to take the necessary steps and precautions and do what they can to provide a safe environment.

“The most important thing with the protocols and positive cases is that we are following the direction of our local health care,” Bolin said. “What they want done with tracing, we’ll continue to do that in the future.”

The YMCA wasn’t the only area business to report a confirmed case recently. KB’s Bar and Grill also announced on its Facebook page it would be closed Monday and today after an employee tested positive. According to the post, the Ghent establishment will be conducting thorough cleaning and sanitizing while it waits for other test results and is hoping to be open again by Wednesday at 11 a.m.

There have been 38,569 total cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 4,219 requiring hospitalization as well as 1,474 deaths. 679,693 tests have been completed and there are 33,907 patients who no longer need to be isolated.

In southwest Minnesota, Lyon County has had 316 confirmed cases and two deaths. Nobles County has the largest number of cases at 1,669, including six deaths. So far, there have been nearly 3 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., along with close to 130,000 deaths.

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