Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) was recently notified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) of the first death due to COVID-19 of a resident in Lyon County.

SWHHS expresses its deepest sympathies to the family and friends for their loss. Area communities have seen an increase in cases lately. Officials from SWHHS recognize that seeing the numbers rise can be very concerning.

While there will be many people with mild symptoms, news like this reminds the public that this virus can be severe for some. Taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is important, especially for the most vulnerable citizens.

SWHHS wants to remind everyone to continue to follow MDH recommendations:

• Wear a mask in public

• Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people

• Get tested if you are having symptoms

• Stay at least six feet away from others

• Cover coughs/sneezes

• Wash your hands with soap and water frequently

• Avoid touching your face

• Stay home when ill

Local public health does not have authority to share private health data, which includes the address of those who test positive with COVID-19 or any other identifying information.

Such sharing is a violation of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. 13.09 (a) and (b).

For more information, visit the MDH Web site at health.state.mn.us.

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