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Martin County officials beseech public to self-quarantine

Dear Martin County residents:

We need your help in suppressing the coronavirus. There is no longer any debate: All medical experts agree that the spread of COVID-19 has the potential to overwhelm the U.S. health care system by early summer.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Martin County continues to rise at a concerning rate. As of today, March 23, there are eight confirmed cases, with many other patients awaiting results.

Despite having a significantly lower population than Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, Martin County has the same number of cases as both combined. In fact, Martin County has the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the nine-county region. Furthermore, seven of the eight cases in Martin County have been acquired through community transmission, which means individuals acquired the virus from other community members, not because of travel outside the region or state.

The most powerful tool we have to change this alarming trend is social distancing. Yet far too many people are falling short of what’s needed, including the residents of Martin County. We are asking all of you to self-quarantine if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath) or have been exposed to the virus in any way. For everyone else, please distance yourself from others in the following ways:

o Avoid public places; only go out to get essentials.

o Avoid family or public gatherings.

o Stay 6 feet from anyone with whom you do not live.

We understand that making these temporary sacrifices is difficult. But doing so can mean the difference between life and death for the people of our community — particularly those at highest risk.

We encourage you to go to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website for the most accurate information about the disease. Locally, you can follow the Community Health and Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties Facebook page for daily updates and information.

For information on what to do if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid19 or call your health care provider.

Thank you for your sacrifices and for keeping the residents of Martin County safe.

Abigail Nesbit, Martin County Emergency Management director

Chera Sevcik, Community Health Services executive director

Dr. Marie Morris, Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont medical director

Amy Long, Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont administrator

Terry Viesselman, Martin County Attorney

Steven Flohrs, Martin County Commission chairman

Jeff Markquart, Martin County sheriff

Mike Hunter, Fairmont police chief

Dan Nelson, Dunnell mayor

Darren Maday, Granada mayor

Tom Wakey, Northrop mayor

Troy Schmitke, Trimont mayor

Lynn Brownlee, Truman mayor

Deb Foster, Fairmont mayor

Fred Schmitke, Ceylon mayor

Charles Waterbury, Ormsby mayor

John Newville, Welcome mayor

Jeff Ross, Sherburn mayor

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