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COVID-19 Community Hotline
507-328-28229 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday - Saturday
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
For the most current information on COVID-19, view the COVID-19 Dashboard by clicking the image below.
Please note that the best viewing experience for the COVID-19 dashboard is in non-mobile browsers: Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari.
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Letter to Chamber of Commerce from Director Briggs, May 11, 2020 (114 KB)
Minnesota continues to move the dial and introducing more interaction between people over time. As we take cautious steps forward, it is more important than ever that we protect those most at risk, support workers, and all do our part to slow the spread of the virus. We continue to encourage everyone to:
Wash your hands often and regularly for 20 seconds or more;
Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more;
Wear a mask when in public settings;
Work from home when appropriate;
Stay home when sick and get tested if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
Keep group gatherings small with distancing practices in place.
Executive Order 20-33, seeks to balance public health needs and economic considerations, and now allows more Minnesota workers to return to work when it is safe to do so. Re-opening plans must include guidelines and requirements for appropriate social distancing, hygiene, and public health best practices. Executive Order 20-38 expanded exemptions related to outdoor recreational activities and facilities. Executive Orders 20-40 and 20-48 allowed for certain noncritical businesses to reopen after they had planned for and provided a safe work environment. A template COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which covers the above requirements, is available as part of the Plan Guidance, available on
Resources Tab for additional information and
Translated Materials Tab for information in various languages.
Public health professionals perform case investigations and contact tracing to help slow and prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Olmsted County Public Health Services leads this work with the support and guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health.
What does the interview process look like?
When public health learns that someone has tested positive for COVID-19, an interviewer reaches out to talk to that person, usually by phone – this is known as a case investigation.
When talking to the person who tested positive for COVID-19, interviewers work to determine their close contacts – anyone who has been within 6 feet of them for 15 minutes or more while they were infectious. Interviewers then reach out to inform close contacts and their employer (when permission is granted) of possible exposure. This is the next step to prevent the spread of disease, known as contact tracing. Interviewers do not reveal the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 when speaking with close contacts.
What will interviewers ask?
Interviewers use pre-approved questions for case investigations and contact tracing. They ask every person for their date of birth, address, race, and ethnicity, and other questions. Interviewers will never ask for or write down immigration status, Social Security number, financial information, or marital status.
Information collected during interviews is used only by public health agencies. The information is protected in secure systems and individual information is not shared with anyone else. Interviewers operate under strict confidentiality rules.
Interviews are available in other languages other than English, using skilled interpreters. Outreach materials are also available in several languages.
Every person interviewed receives guidance about how to keep themselves and others safe. Interviewers can also help connect people with resources they may need while they stay home for 14 days to ensure they are not sick (quarantine) or stay home to recover from being sick (isolation).
Why are these interviews important?
It is important to answer calls you receive from public health. When you do, it helps us:
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Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Clean and disinfect
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As of July 25, 2020, per the
Governor's Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota are required to wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces, unless alone. Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Research has shown that use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene.
For more information about face coverings and the Executive Order, please see the
Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings
The difference between alternative masks and surgical masks