The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has notified Polk County Public Health of five new lab-confirmed cases. As of today, Polk County has thirty-two total cases with ages ranging from under 1 year to late 60s. The average age of those infected is thirty-six and one individual has been hospitalized. Seventeen people have recovered and no longer need to be isolated.

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced the extension of the Stay Home and Bars, Restaurants, and Public Accommodations Executive Orders until May 18 and shared his goal of all Minnesotans living healthy, safe, and happy lives. His future objectives are to slow spread and slowly build immunity, realizing elimination is impossible; protect those working on the front lines by increasing access to personal protective equipment; ensure our health system can care for all of those who require treatment for COVID and other conditions; strategically get more Minnesotans back to work, and safely and slowly resume in-person contacts and other activities that are critical for our well-being.

The first confirmed case in Minnesota was on March 6 and one month later, on April 4, Polk County had its first case. As we move into May, Polk County Public Health asks that all Polk County residents continue to do their part by staying home if you can, washing your hands often, maintaining social distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings when in public. COVID-19 can be stressful. Finding ways to de-stress and recharge is important for mental well-being. Spend time in nature with individuals from your household, focus on what you can control including your thoughts and behaviors, be gentle with yourself and others, and remember that you are resilient. We will get through this.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for more COVID-19 information. Follow Polk County Public Health on Facebook (@pcphealth), Instagram (@polkcountypublichealth), and Twitter (@HealthPolk) for local information. Polk County Covid-19 Response: