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The original item was published from 9/18/2020 11:33:00 AM to 9/18/2020 2:46:07 PM.

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Posted on: September 18, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City statement on COVID-19 case backlog in Winona County

COVID-19 community response

The City of Winona is not changing its decision-making or strategies to limit COVID-19 community spread, and asking residents and businesses to respond cautiously to a reported backlog of cases announced in Winona County on Friday, September 18.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 101 cases - 100 new - in the county on Friday. The vast majority are more than two weeks old, with some dating back to June, according to information from Winona County. The cases are largely not connected to the two-day community testing event held in Winona this week.

Friday’s case numbers do not impact infection rates, the 14-day case average, community decision-making, or any other factors at the city level.

“We want to assure the community that these are old cases,“ said City Manager Steve Sarvi. “The last thing we want to see is our schools, businesses, and community partners making changes or decisions solely based on Friday’s numbers.”

The backlog does not appear to be the result of any issues at the local level. The city is concerned about why these cases weren’t reported at the state level in a timely way, and has asked the Minnesota Department of Health to investigate and report back to the community.

“We appreciate and continue to support the ongoing efforts from our universities, county public health department and others working hard to limit the spread from rising COVID-19 cases over the last month,” said Mayor Mark Peterson.

The city continues to do all it can to minimize the virus’ spread. This includes ensuring COVID-19 safety plans are followed at businesses, bar and restaurant compliance checks, weekend neighborhood patrols, and visits to parks, trails, and popular outdoor destinations.

The city urges all Winona residents to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask, stay physically distant, don’t host or attend larger gatherings (the state limit is 10 indoors, 25 outdoors - the city is recommending 5-10 indoors and 10-15 outdoors for now), wash your hands, and practice other safe and healthy behaviors.

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