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Martin Co. sheriff: Take Walz order seriously

FAIRMONT — In response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issuing a stay-at-home order for Minnesotans on Wednesday, Martin County Sheriff Jeff Markquart issued a video update for the county on the sheriff’s Facebook page.

Markquart noted that the county has 10 positive COVID-19 cases, and that nine of those 10 are due to community spread. He strongly urged people to limit all non-essential travel.

“What we’re asking for in this stay-at-home order is that we do that: stay at home,” he said. “We’re not asking you not to go out and buy groceries, go to the doctor or essential things. Those things we still want you to do. Just limit the times that you’re going out. Maybe let’s make a list and try to go out and get groceries only once or twice a week.

“Please help us limit the time you’re spending out in the public; that’s where our problem is coming today with our spreading of this. Yesterday we were at eight, today we’re at 10 and I’m hoping that we’re not going up, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Markquart said he understands the challenges that limited social involvement brings, but he again underscored the necessity of the order.

“Another thing that I want you to work on is limiting your time with family outside of your home, gathering in public places like churches,” he said. “I am a sheriff of faith and I go to church, but I do know that right now is a tough time for even those things. I can figure out ways to do my worship without being in that church building.

“For family gatherings, we have children with birthdays; I have grandchildren that have birthdays and we’re not going to be able to be there for that. Try and do these things through your laptop or telephone. There are other ways to get together for a few minutes, but we’ve all got to get through this first and then we’ll be able to get together in person.

“In saying that those nine people have been infected communitywide, I’m asking that you really be careful of that six-foot boundary. Even when you go get groceries, be careful. I want you to be here and help us and not be filling up our hospitals with this disease.

“We cannot get through this without your support.”

Markquart encouraged people to message questions to the Sheriff’s Office through its Facebook page.

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