After being one of the few counties in Minnesota with no confirmed cases of COVID-19, Chippewa County has recorded its first case this week. Due to privacy laws, no information about the individual will be made available to the public.

After being one of the few counties in Minnesota with no confirmed cases of COVID-19, Chippewa County has recorded its first case this week. Due to privacy laws, no information about the individual will be made available to the public.

Testing for the virus is ongoing at CCM Health. Wes Duellman, CCM Health Marketing and Communications director said: “We have completed 77 tests at CCM Health since the beginning of March. Tests continue to be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health and the Mayo Clinic based on the criteria established from the MDH for the testing of patients.”

According to Duellman, the typical time for test results to be received from those labs is 48 to 72 hours. “We have been seeing some improved turnaround time of less that 24 hours from Mayo, recently,” he said.

Patients who have respiratory symptoms are seen at CCM Health’s drive-thru testing station or at the Emergency Department of the hospital. Duellman said: “This helps to ensure staff are well prepared to treat patients in a safe and effective manner in these areas, while limiting the risk of exposures to staff and/or other patients.”

All patients who show signs of respiratory symptoms and who have been tested for COVID-19 are instructed to self quarantine for 14 days pending test results.

According to Duellman, once a positive test is confirmed, CCM Health follow protocols as set forth by the MDH. “CCM Health works directly with both the MDH and Countryside Public Health to ensure the appropriate procedures for following up with theses patients and those at risk for an exposure are followed.”

Duellman stated that as of Tuesday, there were no hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at CCM Health. “However,” he said, “staff is ready if and when this need would arise.”

According to the MDH’s COVID-19 website, as of Tuesday evening there were 2,567 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 1,254 individuals released from isolation. Deaths in the state stood at 160.

With its first confirmed case, Chippewa County joins Swift and Lac qui Parle with one confirmed case each. Yellow Medicine County reports three confirmed cases. Confirmed cases by age range show 14 cases among 0-5 years of age, 60 cases for ages 6-19, 856 cases among ages 20-44, 841 cases among ages 45-64, and 795 cases among ages 65 and older.

Cases by gender are nearly equally split, with 51 percent of cases being female, and 49 percent of cases being male.

Individuals who have required hospitalization represent 14 percent of all cases, with 10 percent requiring care in ICUs. Non-hospitalized individuals make up 53 percent of all cases.

Also as of Tuesday, total confirmed global cases stood at 2,553,853. A total of 176,323 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported worldwide.