With Third Coronavirus Case in St. Louis County, Officials Urge No Travel

The third case in the county is linked to domestic travel.

DULUTH, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order came at the heels of St. Louis County announcing the discovery of its third case of Coronavirus on Wednesday.

The woman is in her late 30s, and like the other cases, contracted the virus through domestic travel. Now county leaders are taking a stronger stance on limiting people coming and out of the region.

Health leadership has not said where the woman lives for the same reason as the second case–they want all county residents to social distance and stay in their homes as if it was in their city or town.

While officials said they’re pleased that there continues to be no documented spread of the virus in the county, with this being the third case in a row linked to domestic travel, they ask that people give more consideration to their current and future travel plans

“People should avoid all unnecessary travel,” St. Louis County Board Chair Mike Jugovich said. “For people in the Twin cities who have cabins or favorite short-term rental, please think again about coming. For our residents who are snowbirds, if you have the opportunity to stay where you’re at a little longer.”

He added this goes double for those coming to the county from places with documented cases and community spread.

“Normally the Northland is so welcoming and and we want poeple to come here we really do,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t want you, it’s we want to get that through this health crisis and this is another one of our avenues we need to ensure safety for our residents.

Meanwhile Dr. Andrew Thompson of St.Luke’s said both St. Luke’s and Essentia are looking at plans to potentially double or triple the hospital capacity, going into crisis mode.

“We do have plans to basically reassign Healthcare workers because for obvious reasons, our usual procedures are not working as normal. We have a lot of workers who are available to help out in different roles in the hospital,” Dr. Thompson said.

Governor Walz addressed travel in his safe-at-home order, saying Minnesotans should limit going elsewhere unless it’s essential and interstate travel, such as returning home from outside this state.

He reiterated that unless your symptoms are severe enough to go to the hospital, “most people who live in the community, at this point you don’t need to be tested for COVID-19.”

Just quarantine yourself if you notice symptoms.

“In large part that’s because there’s nothing different we could do, whether you tests positive or negative, you should stay home and self-isolate,” he said.

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