Cook County logo. WTIP file photo
WTIP file photo

Cook County reports first confirmed case of COVID-19

Cook County confirmed the first case of COVID-19 today, noting that the infected person is a male resident of Cook County in his 30s.

Cook is the last county in northeast Minnesota – and the second-to-last in the state – to have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Due to state and federal data privacy regulations, no other information about the infected person will be released. Further, because of the time it takes for case information to transfer between the testing lab and the MN Department of Health (MDH), the case may not appear on the MDH map for two to three days.

MDH will interview the individual and work to identify and contact people who have been in close physical contact with the infected person. Close physical contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from date of contact, during which time they will be asked to monitor themselves for fever and respiratory symptoms.

“We have been expecting and preparing for this,” said Kurt Farchmin, a local physician at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. “By identifying the early cases, we can help people isolate so that the virus does not spread further. This is how we control how the virus enters our community and slow the curve.”

Farchmin urged people to continue following the state’s ‘Stay Safe MN’ guidelines, including wearing cloth face coverings and maintaining social distance – and, of course, letting the clinic know right away if they feel they may have COVID-19.

Since the COVID pandemic started in March, more than 1,200 have died from complications of the new coronavirus in Minnesota.