Second COVID-19 positive test at North Shore Health
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager about this latest development. Click and listen to the interview below.
Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager has announced that North Shore Health has received its second positive COVID-19 test result. According to the Cook County Emergency Operations Center, the individual who tested positive is a male in his 50s who is not a resident of Cook County but sought care through local medical facilities.
Due to patient privacy regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), no further information is available. So it is not known if this person is still a patient at the local hospital or has been released home or to another facility. It is also not known if the individual felt ill when he traveled to the North Shore.
This announcement on Friday, July 3, comes with the disclaimer that, due to the way the Minnesota Department of Health determines “county of residence,” not all people who test positive at a Cook County facility are included in the official Cook County case count.
As in this case, an individual who lists a residence in another county will be counted as a COVID-19 positive case in his county of residence.
This is the case for any positive cases for seasonal residents or visitors to the Cook County community. Likewise, a Cook County resident who is tested elsewhere will not be included in the data from North Shore Health and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, but will appear in the Minnesota Department of Health count of positive cases for Cook County.
This second COVID-19 case coincides with launch of a new Cook County Emergency Operations Center dashboard of local COVID-19 statistics on its COVID-19 information hub site See the new county dashboard here.
Grinager says going forward, the new dashboard is where all new local cases and testing statistics will be reported.
The dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis and includes information from the Minnesota Department Health such as the number of tests performed in Cook County to date; the rate of testing throughout the County; the number of lab-confirmed positive cases among Cook County residents (currently one); and the number of deaths among Cook County residents (currently zero).
It also includes both monthly and year-to-date COVID-19 testing information from specimens collected at North Shore Health or Sawtooth Mountain Clinic.
All COVID-19 cases, regardless of where a person lives, receive a follow-up case investigation interview from public health officials. They also receive information from a medical provider on how to care for themselves while they are ill, and assistance in meeting needs for essential services while in isolation. This case investigation also begins the process of “contact tracing,” a process of reaching out to high risk contacts of the person who tests positive and encouraging them to quarantine for 14 days.
“All community members—residents and visitors alike—should continue to stay vigilant and follow the public health best practices that help to keep us healthy and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Grinager “Cover your cough, wash your hands frequently, stay six feet apart from others in crowded places, and wear a cloth face mask in public spaces—especially where it is difficult to socially distance from those outside your household. If you are feeling ill, please stay home.”