As of today, March 27 (10:15 a.m.) Blue Earth County has had six (6) lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Experts believe this number is not indicative of the actual number of cases in the community and we need to act as if this virus is circulating freely amongst us.

It is crucial over the next few weeks to abide by the Executive Order by Governor Walz to stay home and away from others. Your trips out in public should be meant for only necessary items. Most importantly, if you are sick, stay home.

At the County level, our government services have remained largely in place. While many of our buildings remain closed to the public, our services are being offered in new and creative ways over the phone and online.

Our health, assistance, and support services available through our Human Services Department is using telehealth options when possible in order to continue offering critical services to clients. Just to name a few, our mental health, financial assistance, child protection, and disability services are available. Our veterans can also receive assistance over the phone or through email from our Veteran Services Department.

Those tasked with maintaining safety and justice are carrying on. Our Sheriff’s Office is active and responding to calls in the public and are following recommended safety measures when they respond. The Attorney’s Office is working through online alternatives and our Community Corrections Department is using virtual visits when possible.

Our Public Works Department is moving forward with a busy spring of infrastructure construction. I also encourage you to take advantage of the parks and trails that that department supports as a way to get some fresh air and exercise during this time.

Services for property, taxes, land records, elections, and environmental health are processing work via telework or other non-face-to-face transaction processes and assisting the public over the phone.

Finally, our Public Health unit is working vigorously to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with their partners, they are focusing on the health and safety of our County, region, and state. A list of impacted County services and how to best obtain the services you need during this time can be viewed on our website (www.blueearthcountymn.gov).

Each of us has been impacted by this pandemic in different ways and I encourage you to support your neighbors and community during this time as best you can. Together we will slow the spread of COVID-19 and come out stronger than we even knew possible. Until then, thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do.

Be well and stay healthy. Thank you.