By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

County Public Health Director Jody Lien had some warnings for Otter Tail County residents after hearing that several people in the ages from 18 to 22 tested positive for COVID-19 after a party in Fergus Falls, with no masks or social distancing, on Saturday, March 13.

“As the weather improves, and the dial-back measures begin, the desire to let our guard down and to return to some normalcy is difficult to resist,” Lien said.  “It’s important that we remain cautious and vigilant to protect the progress we have made in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases.”

She said an important goal is to allow more time to increase the number of high-risk persons to be vaccinated.  

“We can help to meet this goal by continuing to wear masks, maintaining social distancing, washing our hands, avoiding crowds, getting tested if appropriate and getting vaccinated if eligible,” Lien said.

Lien and her staff at county public health, for the past several months, have worked closely with state health officials and health officials in adjoining counties to flatten the COVID-19 curve in west central Minnesota.

She has also emphasized to county employees, county board members and residents of Otter Tail County to continue to be aware of asymptomatic transmission. This refers to transmission of the COVID-19 virus from a person who does not develop symptoms.

Lien fully agrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci who, on March 14, said, “We can’t spike the football on the five-yard-line since we haven’t as yet reached the goal line to be free of COVID-19. We’re doing well right now but still have a ways to go to reach that goal line.”