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Second COVID-19 case confirmed

By Staff | Apr 5, 2020

Friendship Court, on the St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center campus, in Blue Earth, is under quarantine after a resident tested positive for COVID-19.

A second confirmed case in Faribault County of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, was announced this past week on Tuesday.

The first case was announced on Friday, March 27, and involved a person in their teens who was recovering in their home.

The second case came to light on Tuesday, March 31, and involves a resident of Friendship Court on the St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center campus in Blue Earth.

“The person was showing symptoms and was taken to UHD Hospital where the COVID-19 was confirmed,” St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center administrator Margaret Brandt says. “The resident is now back at Friendship Court and is doing quite well.”

The person, as well as all of the residents of Friendship Court, are now quarantined to their rooms, Brandt said, and are all being monitored and checked for symptoms twice a day.

Also, all of the residents and their families have been notified of the case.

“The person’s symptoms came on quite quickly,” Brandt says. “And we do not know where they may have been exposed to the virus.”

Infection Control Nurse Laura Barslou says the staff at St. Luke’s has been preparing for just such an incident since March 12.

“We have been taking precautions since that date,” Barslou said. “That includes keeping residents and staff in just certain areas, limiting any visits, and screening everyone, checking temperatures of residents and staff alike.”

Those procedures involved following all the protocols set by the Minnesota Department of Health and Faribault and Martin Counties Health and Human Services department and the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

“We have restricted visitors from coming and going from the start of our precautions,” Barslou says. “That includes not having congregate meals, or social activities, separating our areas and practicing social distancing.”

Brandt says St. Luke’s is lucky to have such a great staff.

“We are very thankful for and proud of our staff and their efforts during this unprecedented time,” Brandt says. “Our people are very dedicated, working hard in all departments. We are very appreciative that everyone has stepped up, and that makes it easier for everybody here.”

In announcing the two cases in Faribault County, Community Health and Human Services also urges the community to continue implementing mitigation strategies to slow transmission of the disease using the guidance provided by Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health.

These recommendations include social distancing and the cancelation of large gatherings. The stay home Minnesota executive order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27. Information about these executive orders can be found here: mn.gov/governor/covid-19/

Community Health & Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties provides daily updates on the local situation at their Facebook page – search @faribaultmartinchs

The Minnesota Department of Health website: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html) is a great source of statewide information.