WINONA, Minnesota (WKBT) – The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed today, April 1, the first death in Winona County related to COVID-19.
“Our hearts and minds go out to their family, friends and loved ones,” said Winona Mayor Mark Peterson. “The Winona City Council and all the employees of the city of Winona express our sincere sympathies and condolences during this difficult time.”
Winona County had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 1. This number reflects extremely limited tests available locally and across the state and country, and is expected to increase.
The death further strengthened the city of Winona’s continued work to keep residents informed, ensure all services remain operational and continue to plan the spread of the virus in Winona.
“We care deeply about the health and safety of our residents and remain committed to our preparation and planning,” said city manager Steve Sarvi. “We are using all the resources and tools available in the city to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
The city’s emergency management is working closely with Winona County and other partners on emergency plans to care for and house a large increase in sick residents over the next few months. Emergency services have closed their doors to the public and are using strict rotation schedules to avoid close contact to limit any potential spread or transmission. The city continues to actively communicate with residents about appropriate behavior and activities.
The city continues to urge residents to strictly follow Minnesota’s Stay Minnesota order, staying home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave and limiting travel as much as possible. Residents can still see their doctors, buy groceries and supplies, make deliveries to friends and family who are sick or confined to their homes, and work if their employers deem them essential. Other non-essential activities, including group meeting, are not allowed under the order.
Police patrol and monitor public spaces. They will approach groups violating the order, remind them of the order and ask them to comply. Residents who choose not to comply or continue to violate the order may be issued a ticket.
“You can take the right steps today to save the lives of Winona residents in the future,” said Peterson. “It is up to all of us to work together to protect each other and our community. “
Residents should also continue to exercise physical distance, wash their hands regularly, disinfect and disinfect house surfaces regularly, and other critical behaviors to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Important information for those sheltering on site:
Coronavirus: your local headquarters – Click here for more information on your community
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Business closures / changes in services
Community events canceled / postponed
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