RED WING — A Goodhue County resident in their 20s who tested positive for COVID-19 is believed to have been exposed to the respiratory illness while traveling to another state, Goodhue County Health and Human Services announced Wednesday, March 25.

The state health department confirmed the presumptive case on Tuesday, marking the first positive test result in Goodhue County of the disease that has hospitalized more than two dozen Minnesotans and is associated with one death.

Health departments do not release specifics of COVID-19 patients in accordance with privacy laws.

There were 287 positive test results for COVID-19 in Minnesota as of March 25, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In Wisconsin, there were 457 positive tests and five associated deaths as of Tuesday, March 24.

Though it is the first lab-confirmed case locally, Goodhue County HHS Director Nina Arneson said health experts believe limited testing ability means the number of COVID-19 infections is much higher than testing indicates.

“Please, if you can, stay home and continue to practice community strategies to stop the spread.," Arneson said in a news release. "Only go out when you need essentials, avoid crowds, cover your cough, stay at least six feet away from others, wash your hands frequently,and don’t touch our face, especially eyes, nose and mouth areas."

Residents are asked to help ease the burden on health care providers. People without symptoms — such as fever and cough — should not be tested. Patients should call their health care provider for assessment. Call 911 if experiencing a sudden change in health such as sudden onset of chest pain or difficulty breathing.

Statewide COVID-19 hotlines are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For health questions, call 651-201-3920 or 800-657-3903. School and child care questions can be directed to 651-297-1304 or 800-657-3504.

“Goodhue County is fortunate to have strong teams of experts in the medical field, public health sector and emergency preparedness," Goodhue County Board Chair Paul Drotos said in a statement. "We appreciate the caring and vigilant community members who help to keep our residents safe and healthy.

"By all teams and community members working collaboratively with local, state, and national agencies, we’ll be better able to monitor and contain this outbreak.”

READ MORE

As a public service, we've opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.