County public health announces change to COVID-19 bi-weekly updates 

Published 1:45 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

Freeborn County Public Health announced Thursday it will no longer report the bi-weekly case COVID-19 count statistics. 

Minnesota Department of Health has changed their data reporting process on the Situation Update website and will be updating this page weekly at 11 a.m. Thursdays. The new website layout both streamlines data and provides more interactive graphs and charts. Data will focus on case, hospitalization, death rate and trends, rather than counts, a press release states. These rates and the trends are important for seeing what direction things are taking and the magnitude of the change. 

The Situation Update can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/index.html 

“Freeborn County Public Health has worked very hard over the last almost 2 1/2 years to help keep the public informed and aware of the COVID-19 situation in our community,” said Sue Yost, Freeborn County Public Health director. “As COVID-19 continues to progress  and as testing and surveillance changes, our reporting needs to change also. We will continue to provide education about COVID-19 as new variants emerge.” 

The release stated COVID-19 is still very much a part of everyone’s lives, and while Freeborn County won’t always be in a pandemic phase, COVID-19 is not going anywhere. 

The public health community has scaled up surveillance, data reporting and disease control measures to an unprecedented level during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are more tools available now (e.g., vaccination, testing, medications) to help manage this disease and help prevent severe illnesses and deaths. The work is transitioning to a phase where Minnesota Department of Health will be managing COVID-19 like other infectious diseases, all while remaining ready to deal with outbreaks and/or surges that may arise. 

The work will still allow the health department to monitor the disease while remaining flexible, so they can scale up various response activities as needed.