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1st presumptive case of COVID-19 reported in Wadena County

In a news release, Wadena County Public Health stated health officials will work with the identified case and their close contacts to follow up with additional people who may be at risk

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The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Tuesday, April 28, a presumptive case of COVID-19 in Wadena County.

This is the first reported in that county, which previously was on a dwindling list of Minnesota counties without a laboratory-confirmed case.

In a news release, Wadena County Public Health stated health officials will work with the identified case and their close contacts to follow up with additional people who may be at risk.

“Regardless of whether or not further investigation will reaffirm this presumptive case of COVID-19 to be a resident of Wadena County, we know community transmission is widespread throughout Minnesota and with test capacity on the rise, we are likely to see additional confirmed cases in our county,” stated Cindy Peterson, public health director. “Please understand to protect privacy and as required by law, any identifying information about persons with lab confirmed disease can’t be shared.”


Chuck Horsager, Wadena County Board chairman, offered his best wishes to the person affected in a statement and assured residents the county is prepared to deal with the pandemic.

“Our sincere wishes to this individual for a quick recovery. While we understand a first confirmed positive case may increase concern about the COVID virus, our county departments, community partners and medical partners have been preparing for this for weeks,” Horsager stated in the release. “We encourage everyone to continue to follow the recommendations on how best to protect themselves and help contain the spread of the virus.”

Also Tuesday, a second case was confirmed in Mille Lacs County, along with confirmation of the first death from COVID-19 in Crow Wing County.

Cases by county as of April 28

  • Aitkin — 1.

  • Cass — 5.

  • Crow Wing — 20, with 1 death.

  • Mille Lacs — 2, with 1 death.

  • Morrison — 1.

  • Todd — 3.

  • Wadena — 1.

Compiled from Minnesota Department of Health data.

Symptoms, recommendations and resources

In a majority of cases, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. Health officials recommend individuals and families make a plan in case someone gets sick. They also suggest following the same steps for avoiding the flu:


  • Stay home and away from others if sick.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue.

  • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.

  • Avoid touching the face.

The Minnesota Department of Health has set up COVID-19 hotlines available every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • School and child care questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.

  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.

Visit cdc.gov and health.state.mn.us for more information about COVID-19.

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