Dakota County warns of phone, door-to-door scams

Some Dakota County residents have reported phone calls, text messages and door-to-door scams about COVID-19 testing kits, bogus cures, health insurance and donating to fraudulent charities — all preying on virus-related fears.

Here are tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not respond to calls, texts or emails from unknown numbers or organizations.
  • Avoid clicking on any links or opening email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources — such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Minnesota Department of Health — for facts about COVID-19.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers, so it appears that an incoming call is from a local number or from a company or a government agency that you know and trust.
  • Never share personal or financial information over the phone or through email or text messages.

COVID-19 scams can be reported by calling 911.

Dakota County COVID-19 public health hotline

Dakota County launched a COVID-19 public health hotline on Tuesday, March 24 to answer questions residents have about coronavirus. The public health hotline supports the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotlines that are receiving hundreds of calls a day.

Dakota County’s COVID-19 hotline number is 952-891-7834. It is open Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m

The Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotlines will remain open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • School and child care questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903

Washington County extends suspension of public-facing services

Washington County will continue the suspension of all public-facing services at its libraries, service centers, and license centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through April 7.

The suspension includes the county’s eight library branches, the Government Center, the county’s license centers in Forest Lake and Stillwater, and the service centers in Cottage Grove, Forest Lake, and Woodbury, including the CareerForce centers, and the service counter at the North Shop. County parks will be available for use of their trails and other open spaces, but county parks buildings will be closed. There will be no charge to enter county parks through April 7.

County government services will continue to function, while adapting to working within the parameters set by the COVID-19 pandemic. Public safety agencies will continue to provide service to the community, as will the county’s Department of Public Health & Environment, which is continuing to monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak, and provide services to the community.

Corps of Engineers modifying operations at recreation areas

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District has closed all visitor centers, beaches and project offices to the public to protect against the further spread of COVID-19.

Most day use areas, boat ramps and trails will remain open and available. Contact the local office for availability.

Unopened Corps campgrounds within the St. Paul District will have an indefinite delay in their previously advertised seasonal openings. Individuals with paid camping reservations will be contacted by email and full refunds will automatically be processed by Recreation.gov with no cancellation fees. Individuals should not contact Recreation.gov to request a refund as that will lead to a cancellation fee being charged.

This closure also cancels Corps-sponsored events, interpretive programs, dam tours and site visits scheduled through May 11.

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