COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


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COVID-19 HOTLINE: 651-201-3920

Schools and Daycares HOTLINE: 651-297-1304

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health are closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.


Current Situation

As of 11:00 am April 3, 2020:

  • Minnesota: 789 cases; 22 deaths
  • Olmsted County: 76 cases; 1 death
Information changes constantly. For global numbers please visit *Johns Hopkins Coronavirus COVID-19 dashboard.

There have been tens of thousands of confirmed cases in China and several other countries including the United States. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020. A map of the current number of cases by state is maintained by the CDC.

Health officials confirmed the first case in Minnesota on March 6, 2020. The first case in Olmsted County was confirmed on March 11, 2020.

The Minnesota Department of Health is providing current information on cases on its website.

To receive up-to-date information, click on the following links:

MN Department of Health

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard

March 25: Gov. Tim Walz issues "Stay at Home" order as the next step to slow down community transmission of COVID-19 in Minnesota. This statewide order by the Governor is an effort to continue to slow down transmission to allow our healthcare system to be able to respond and care for sick individuals. 

The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday night and is in effect for two weeks, until Friday, April 10. This means that all Minnesotans are being asked to stay at home unless they are meeting essential needs. 

March 17: Gov. Tim Walz closes bars and restaurants to curb spread of COVID-19. The governor's order, made under "peacetime emergency" powers, also covers health clubs, theaters, museums, food courts, coffeehouses and other places of "public accommodation and amusement." Effective until May 1, 2020

March 13: The Minnesota Department of Health announced new community recommendations involving employers, assisted living facilities, schools and health care settings and large and small community events and gatherings. Learn about the strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota.


The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2–14 days after being exposed to the virus. Symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

To get tested:
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your medical provider right away. They will help determine if you should go to a specimen collection site to be tested, be seen in the clinic, or seek treatment at an emergency room. Due to national shortages of lab testing supplies, there is not an unlimited capacity for testing. You may be told that you do not qualify to be tested and to manage your symptoms at home if you are able. If it is determined by a medical provider that you need a test, they will direct you to the appropriate testing site. People who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19.  Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.

Olmsted County Public Health cannot determine if you should be tested. You must speak with a medical provider to determine if you need a test. 

Mayo Clinic
If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, call your primary care provider. 

Olmsted Medical Center
If you are an Olmsted Medical Center patient, or if you do not have a primary care provider or if you do not have insurance, call the COVID-19 nurse line at Olmsted Medical Center at 507-292-7266. The nurse line is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What to do after you are tested
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, see If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.

"Testing for COVID" resource in various languages


Olmsted County remains committed to sharing timely and credible information with the media to keep the public informed. Please be advised that with the rapidly changing nature of this event, we are doing our best to stay updated ourselves. Please reach out to us via our email inbox if you have specific questions or concerns about information on our website, social media, or other platforms.

Email box for media
Please direct all media requests and inquiries to this central mailbox at Olmsted County: This box is being monitored closely and is the best way to reach us in a timely fashion. The exception would be any circumstance where a specific contact name is listed on a press release. In those cases, you may reach out to that specific contact directly. 

Media guidelines for interviews
For your own health and safety, and the health and safety of our employees, all interviews will be done remotely, effective immediately and continuing until the COVID-19 emergency has passed. Journalists will not be permitted at any of our government offices, nor will our experts travel to other locations for interviews, unless warranted by the community emergency response efforts, which are coordinated through our Joint Information Center with other local agencies. 

Media briefings
Olmsted County Public Health is committed to providing current information for our media partners. In order to join the media briefings, you must be invited to an online meeting that occurs Monday through Friday at 1:30 p.m. for media members only. If you wish to access the on-line meeting, please contact or for access.

Press releases

New Hours for Graham Park Collaborative Collection Site (172kb)

Additional information
Please be sure to check our social media sites for additional information:


There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19; however, research is underway.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Health officials recommend taking the same precautions for COVID-19 as you would for avoiding colds and the flu:
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

To protect the public's health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends certain events and gatherings be postponed or canceled until further notice. The recommendations are intended to provide general guidance for mitigation strategies. Organizers or settings may need to take into consideration unique risks and make decisions that are protective of their communities.

The CDC provides guidance for employers, communities, and individuals about what they can do to help slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.

About COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They are estimated to cause about a third of all cases of the common cold. The most common forms can cause mild to moderate illness in people, while other forms circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. 

COVID-19 is not caused by the same coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012. However, it is in the same family of viruses. 

Because this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, such as how severe the illness can be, how well it is transmitted between people, and other features of the virus. More information will be provided when it is available.

"About COVID-19" in various languages


Stay up to date with the latest travel advisories from regulatory agencies and understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. For the current countries and additional guidance see CDC: Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (Ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States. CDC recommends that travelers returning from countries with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) should stay home for a period of 14 days from the date they left that country.

The Rochester International Airport is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and will continue working with local, state and federal partners as guidance evolves. 

All airlines serving RST are publishing travel notices related to COVID-19. For updates, please visit their respective websites:

Community Partners

To learn more about what various Olmsted County organizations are doing as it pertains to COVID-19, please click on their links below:

Channel One Food Bank

CovidHelp: free food, connection to resources during Coronavirus closures

City of Rochester

Mayo Clinic

Olmsted Medical Center

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

Rochester Downtown Alliance

Rochester International Airport

Rochester Public Library

Rochester Public Schools

Rochester Public Transit

United Way 211


Some services that Olmsted County offers will be interrupted and/or closed during the Stay at Home period.  For a list of local closings, visit KTTC's page here.

Policy and legislative actions to respond to COVID-19

Olmsted County Response
  • Olmsted County has declared a health emergency due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The emergency declaration allows county government to proceed with emergency measures needed to contain and control the spread of COVID-19.
  • Olmsted County is working with the state and federal legislative delegation to provide feedback and share needs of the county community as we respond to COVID-19.

Minnesota Response
  • Governor’s Executive Orders
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services Temporary Waivers and Modifications
  • COVID-19 Response Legislation
    • SF 3813/HF 4275 (Chapter 66) was signed into law on March 10, 2020. It appropriated $20,889,000 to the public health response contingency account for use by the Minnesota Department of Health to ramp up COVID-19 response actions. This was the first bill passed by the Legislature in the 2020 Session in response to COVID-19. 
    • SF 4334/HF 3980 (Chapter 70) was signed into law on March 17, 2020. It provided $200,000,000 for health care providers in need of support to respond to COVID-19.
    • HF 4531/SF 4451 (Chapter 71) was signed into law on March 28, 2020. It appropriated $330,000,000 for a wide range of response efforts including grants for child care providers, assistance for veterans and surviving spouses, funding for food shelves, housing supports, emergency service grants, funding for tribal nations, and a small business emergency loan program. $200 million was appropriated for the COVID-19 Fund which will be administered by Minnesota Management and Budget to help state agencies respond to COVID-19.
Federal Response

Other Resources