We all know this past year has been super challenging for all of us - for our community members, businesses, children, families, essential workers, teachers and our senior citizens. It is almost now one year ago when the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced that in Goodhue County we had our first lab confirmed COVID-19 positive case, that announcement took place on March 25th 2020.

March 2020 seems like such a long time ago, and so many things have changed since then. We have learned a lot about COVID-19, and continue to learn. At that time, many of us could not have even dreamed of having a vaccine for COVID-19, or that we would still be in the COVID-19 mode one year later, but here we are.

The COVID-19 Good News

The good news is that things are moving in the right direction. We can all continue to stay vigilant and do our part by wearing a mask, washing hands often, staying 6 feet away from other people, getting tested, staying home when sick, and being ready to receive COVID-19 vaccine when available.

We have robust COVID-19 testing available in Goodhue County. Our County daily totals for positive lab confirmed COVID-19 cases are decreasing, along with our County’s positivity rate. As of Wednesday, March 10, 2021, MDH is reporting a total of 3,924 lab confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Goodhue County since March of 2020.

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Additional good news is that our numbers for vaccinated Goodhue County residents is increasing. As of Wednesday, March 10, 2021, MDH reported 10,426 Goodhue County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, and 5,113 have completed vaccine series.

As we t

Nina Arneson is the Goodhue County Health and Human Services director
Nina Arneson is the Goodhue County Health and Human Services director
hink about this, this is pretty amazing! Most importantly, we have three, safe, high efficacy COVID-19 vaccines - Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, that have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States. Each has the same goal of providing protection from COVID-19, and availability of these vaccines has steadily increased. More Goodhue County residents are receiving the vaccine each day. In two months of administering vaccines in Goodhue County, the number of vaccines administered was higher than our total positive lab confirmed cases—a milestone that took us one year to reach. This is great progress, but we are far from done.

It is exciting to hear that on March 6th 2021, the state of Minnesota passed the milestone of 1 million residents having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is how we will end the pandemic. More people vaccinated means that there will be less disease in our communities, and less chance of COVID-19 spreading and evolving to new variants.

Local Network of Health Care Providers

Goodhue County Health and Human Services (GCHHS) is honored to be a part of the strong network of health care providers including pharmacies, clinics, statewide vaccination sites and hospitals that have been mobilized to administer COVID-19 vaccines to our residents, with a focus on those who are most vulnerable.

In January, GCHHS began vaccinating our local Phase 1A priority group which included Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Vaccination clinics were held throughout the county in Red Wing, Zumbrota, Kenyon and Cannon Falls. Following MDH’s vaccine roll out plan, GCHHS continued to move ahead and administered vaccines to local group home residents and staff health care providers, child care providers and early childhood through 12th grade (E-12) staff. In early March, GCHHS began vaccinating adults aged 65 and older. On Tuesday, March 9th, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota had reached their goal of vaccinating 70% of seniors and opened vaccine eligibility up to more Minnesotans. Some of the groups that are now eligible for vaccine include people with specific underlying medical conditions and essential frontline workers. GCHHS began offering vaccine to these newly eligible priority groups on Wednesday, March 10th. We urge Goodhue County residents to visit co.goodhue.mn.us/COVID-19Vaccines to see if you are now eligible for vaccine and register for an appointment. Every shot gets us closer to the end of the pandemic.

Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector

It is exciting that so many people want to get vaccinated. Waiting for vaccine is extremely hard, and it can be confusing to know when or if you are eligible for a vaccine. The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector (mn.gov/COVID19/vaccine/connector/) is a tool that helps Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The Vaccine Connector will:

  • Alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine;
  • Connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and
  • Notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area.

If you have questions about the Vaccine Connector or need assistance filling it out, please call our Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector Hotline at 833-431-2053.

To stay informed of local Goodhue County Vaccine information go to co.goodhue.mn.us/COVID-19Vaccines and the GCHHS Facebook page facebook.com/gchhs. If you have COVID-19 related questions please call the Goodhue County Health & Human Services COVID-19 Hotline at (651) 385-2000. Hotline is available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Please, remember we all need to continue to our part to slow the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask, wash your hands often, stay 6 feet away from other people, get tested, stay home when sick, and be ready to receive your COVID-19 vaccine when available.

About Goodhue County Health and Human Services:

The mission of Goodhue County Health and Human Services is to “Promote, Protect and Strengthen the Health of Individuals, Families, and Communities.” The department has three service divisions: Economic Assistance, Public Health, and Social Services.For more information on Goodhue County Health & Human Services, please visit www.co.goodhue.mn.us