Rhonda Silence

Grand Marais mayor tests positive for COVID-19

The Minnesota Department of Health provides daily updates on the number of people who have had COVID-19 positive test results. The Cook County COVID-19 emergency operations center follows up on that with some demographic information, sharing basic information such as gender and age.

Because of health privacy laws, that is all the information that can be provided, so unless a community member shares their diagnosis, the public doesn’t know who has contracted the coronavirus.

There are some community members who are willing to share their story, such as Treg and Denise Axtell of Hovland, who had cold-like symptoms and were tested to find that they had the virus. Fortunately, they had mild cases. Hear their story here.

That appears to also be the case for one of the latest COVID-19 positives reported in the county. Just as the Minnesota Department of Health was issuing a warning to Cook County about the recent uptick in COVID positives, Grand Marais Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux learned that he had tested positive for the virus.

Mayor Arrowsmith DeCoux said he is the “male in his 30s” positive result that was recently reported.

The mayor did not have any symptoms but had a precautionary test before visiting some relatives. He was surprised to hear that his test was positive, as he had been extremely diligent about following the CDC guidelines about social distancing, masking, and hand washing.

Arrowsmith DeCoux immediately began the recommended isolation to avoid infecting anyone else. He found a place to stay away from his family and is biding his time until his isolation period is over on November 18.

WTIP talked to Mayor Arrowsmith DeCoux and noted that this is an important thing to do, but is inconvenient. Arrowsmith DeCoux replied, “It’s incredibly inconvenient, but you know, it’s even more inconvenient to having someone that you love, get really sick from something that could be avoidable.

“So I would really, really, encourage people to get tested, to quarantine, if you’re contacted by contact tracing and or isolate if you have a positive result because it’s really, really serious.”

Here’s WTIP’s Rhonda Silence with more of the conversation.