COVID-19 cases rise to 11 in Freeborn County

Published 2:22 pm Monday, April 6, 2020

Cases confirmed in Fountain Centers


Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Freeborn County continued to rise over the weekend, with three new cases announced Saturday and another Monday.

The total cases in the county have now reached 11, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The four new cases were all people in their 50s, the Freeborn County Public Health Department said. Overall cases in the county have ranged from people ages 20 to 70.

“Everyone needs to continue to be very careful about how well they wash their hands, and make sure they stay home as much as possible,” said Sue Yost, Freeborn County Public Health director. “If you need something at the grocery store, one person from the household should go to the store, not the entire family or household.”

More than 34% of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota have happened as a result of community spread of the virus, according to updated data released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The state agency said exposure to a confirmed case has led to 23.53% of cases, while travel to another state accounted for 17.04%.

The state department on Saturday included a list of outbreaks at long-term care facilities by county across the state, which it defined as one or more residents or staff with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. The list included Fountain Centers at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. The number of people affected has not been released.

“The safety and health of our patients and staff is of paramount importance to Mayo Clinic Health System,” the health system said in a statement Sunday. “Mayo Clinic Health System has reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Fountain Centers residential unit in Albert Lea to county and state department of public health.”

Mayo officials announced earlier in the week it had temporarily closed the residential drug and alcohol addiction unit to new patients as a precautionary measure.

“If a patient presents to Mayo Clinic facilities with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they are thoroughly evaluated, including testing for COVID-19,” Mayo said.

The health system said it could not release additional information due to patient privacy.

The announcement came as statewide cases rose to 986, up 51 from the previous day. Out of all of the cases, 470 have recovered and are out of isolation, while 30 people have died.

One hundred fifteen people were hospitalized as of Monday, including 57 in intensive care. The median age of the people who are hospitalized is 63.

Numbers include data through 4 p.m. Sunday. Not all suspected cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this data is not representative of the total number of people in Minnesota who have or had COVID-19.

The Department of Health stated 28,128 tests have been completed in Minnesota, including 8,876 through the Department of Health’s public health lab and 19,252 from external laboratories.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending everyone wears a cloth face cover when going out in public to get essential supplies. The purpose is to protect other people in case you are infected but asymptomatic.

People should not use face masks intended for health care workers, and face masks is not a substitute for social distancing.


Confirmed COVID-19 cases

Dodge County: 10

Faribault County: 3

Freeborn County: 11

Mower County: 17

Steele County: 8

Waseca County: 3

— Information from the Minnesota Department of Health