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First COVID-19 cases reported Minnesota correctional facilities, including Red Wing

The Minnesota Department of Corrections confirmed Monday the state's first cases of COVID-19 involving a staff member in Red Wing and an inmate in Moose Lake.

An illustration of the appearance of a coronavirus, such as the 2019 coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. (Submitted / Centers for Disease Control)

The first cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota's prison system were confirmed Monday, including one involving the facility in Red Wing.

A news release from the Department of Corrections confirmed that one staff member from the Red Wing facility and one inmate at the Moose Lake facility tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Commissioner Paul Schnell said the following in the news release: "We have been working directly with epidemiology staff from the Department of Health for several weeks to plan for the known likelihood of staff and inmate cases of COVID-19. We are taking all reasonable steps to minimize the spread with the state’s correctional facilities, and we are implementing methods to protect those most at risk medically."

DOC has tested 22 inmates total, according to the department's website. One has tested positive, 17 have tested negative and four tests are pending.

The fifth case of the respiratory illness COVID-19 in St. Croix County and the third in Goodhue County have been confirmed, local health departments announced Monday, March 30.


The Goodhue County case is a resident in their 40s who had contact with another person who tested positive for the disease, according to Goodhue County Health and Human Services. The person was isolating at home and recovering.

The St. Croix County individual was isolating at home, County Public Health Administrator Kelli Engen said. The case is related to travel.

There were 576 positive cases for COVID-19 out of approximately 18,880 total tests in Minnesota as of Monday,  according to the Minnesota Department of Health . There have been 92 hospitalizations to date and 10 deaths associated with the disease in the state.

In Wisconsin, the number of positive cases climbed to 1,112 out of 17,662 total tests as of Sunday, March 29, the most recent data from  the Department of Health Service s as of 11:42 a.m. Monday. There have been 13 deaths from COVID-19 in the state.

Goodhue County Health and Human Services opened a local COVID-19 Hotline today. The hotline will be staffed 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Residents looking for basic information regarding COVID-19 can call 651-385-2000.

Minnesota and Wisconsin have both insituted orders directing residents to stay home except for essential tasks.

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Source: Minnesota Department of Health

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