We continue to see increases in COVID-19 cases in our county, state and nation. Nearly 80 news cases were reported over the past two weeks. As of Oct. 7, Goodhue County has had 428 lab confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

Twenty-two of those cases has required hospitalization.

In the month of September, we saw a steady increase in positive lab confirmed COVID-19 cases.

• From Sept. 3- 9: 19 positive cases.

• From Sept. 10- 16: 33 positive cases

• From Sept.17- 23: 34 positive cases

• From Sept. 24- 30: 45 positive cases

This is just another reminder that now more than ever we must continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. People should limit in-person gatherings, wash hands regularly, maintain physical distance of 6 or more feet and wear a mask when around people outside of their household to help reduce the number of people who get sick with COVID-19.

Which mask should I wear?

Masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing. Recently there have been new and unique types of masks and f face shields being introduced onto the market. One style, a “Bottom Up” face shield, is being marketed as a type that may be used. This type of shield wraps around the face, usually have some type of chin support, tighten to your ears, but has a large gap between the top of the shield and the forehead. While it is more comfortable and easier to wear for long periods of time, the “Bottom Up” face shield does not provide the necessary protection because of the large gap between the nose and the top of the head.

Goodhue County Health & Human Services recommends face masks (which can include paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering) be worn. Any mask that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask. If wearing a face mask is problematic, it is okay to wear a face shield, however, the shield must extend below the chin and to the ears and there should not be an exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.

Masks should be washed regularly. You can include your mask with your regular laundry. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask. Make sure to completely dry the mask after washing.

Upcoming Community Flu Shot clinics

COVID -19 and flu symptoms are similar. Getting vaccinated against influenza can reduce your need to stay home with a COVID-like illness. Getting a flu shot is especially critical this year to prevent the combined impact of flu and COVID-19 on Minnesota hospitals. The flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to lower your risk of getting sick with the flu.

Goodhue County Health and Human Services is hosting COVID-safe flu clinics for everyone age 6 months and older. Vaccinations are available for people with or without insurance. To see times and locations and to pre-register online, go to Goodhue County’s official website at co.goodhue.mn.us. Face masks and social distancing are required.

• Oct. 19, 2020- Zumbrota: 3:30- 6 p.m. at United Redeemer Church- 560 West Third St.

• Oct. 22, 2020- Kenyon: 3-6 p.m. at Kenyon Fire Department- 620 Centennial Drive.

• Nov. 17, 2020- Red Wing: 3-6 p.m. at TBD

Nina Arneson is the Goodhue County Health and Human Services director.

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