COVID-19 cases in Brown County more prevalant in younger age groups

Deb Moldaschel
Brown County report on June 23

Each day at 11 a.m., the Minnesota Department of Health releases a report on new COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state and in each county. On Thursdays, a new weekly report is posted, with additional data for the state and counties.

In addition, Brown County Public Health posts a report each day on their Facebook page on the number of new laboratory confirmed cases (with age information), total hospitalizations, active cases, recovered cases, and total deaths. On occasion, the total number of cases has changed, due to new information from MDH, such as learning a person does not reside in Brown County.

The Brown County Public Health report, as of June 23, reported no new cases in the county and only 1 person with an active case/in isolation.

COVID-19 cases were first reported in Brown County in early April, when three cases were reported — two people were in their 50s and one was in their 80s. On April 7, two more cases were reported — a person in their 60s and one in their 50s.

There were no cases the next few weeks, followed by about one a week through May 25. Since then new cases were reported every couple days, with the total, as of June 23, at 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brown County, with only one person as a currently active case/in isolation.

The cases in Brown County have included people in a wide range of age groups: two under 10; four in teens; seven in 20s; three in 30s; four in 50s; one in 60s; two in 80s and one in 90s. (These do not total to 21 as a few cases were removed from Brown County without identification of age.)

Of the 21 cases in Brown County, five required hospitalization. There have been two COVID-19 related deaths in Brown County, the first on April 10 and the second on May 14.

Last Thursday, June 18, the MDH weekly report included a table listing the total number of tests by county of residence. At that time there had been 1,111 tests done in Brown County.

When asked, the Sleepy Eye Medical Center reported 269 tests had been performed there as of June 21. Testing for COVID-19 has become more readily available throughout the state. SEMC follows the CDC and MDH guidelines for administering tests.

The MDH website says: 

•People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. Talk to your health care provider.

•In general, people who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19.

•MDH may recommend that people who do not have symptoms get tested in certain situations, such as a setting where an outbreak is occurring.

Call the Sleepy Eye Medical Center to inquire about testing. SEMC providers like to do a virtual visit prior to ordering a test.

Local health officials recommend face masks in public settings

From Brown County Public Health

Wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, such as grocery stores and gas stations, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, is recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. People can spread COVID-19 even when they don’t have symptoms and do not know they are infected. A cloth face covering is an extra layer to prevent the droplets from traveling in the air to other people.

“We encourage people to wear face masks in all public settings such as stores, salons, and churches, as well as restaurants when not eating or drinking,” said Karen Moritz, Brown County Public Health Director. “Wearing a mask is one of the best ways we can protect our vulnerable neighbors. Your mask protects others and their mask protects you.”

Face masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Public Health. To learn more about properly wearing face masks, visit the website, CDC: How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings and CDC: How to Make a Cloth Face Mask.

Face masks should not be worn by children under 2 years of age.

In addition to wearing a face mask, practice other everyday health habits. Practice social distancing of staying at least six feet away from others, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze, wash your hands often using 60% alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Should you experience even one of the above symptoms please consult with your healthcare provider to identify if you should be tested for COVID-19. Some of our local facilities have a drive up option and will screen you to determine if you are able to utilize drive up testing, or if you need medical consultation.

For the most up to date accurate information about COVID-19 please go to: