COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)
Stay At Home Order
On March 25, Governor Tim Walz announced a stay at home order effective March 27 to April 10. During this time, you can leave home to take care of essential needs, but will need to stop other unnecessary trips. By limiting social interactions, we decrease the chance of transmission of COVID-19 and help our health care sector prepare for increased demands.
View full guidance at Governor Tim Walz’s COVID-19 webpage.
Washington County Pandemic Response
Washington County public facing services are suspended through April 7. Many services continue to be available online, by phone, email, and U.S. mail. Click here for more information.
Washington County Public Health & Environment continues to work closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on positive cases of COVID-19 in our community. For the latest information on cases of COVID-19 in Washington County, visit MDH: Situation Update or subscribe to COVID-19 email updates from the Minnesota Department of Health.
MDH COVID-19 Hotlines
- Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 | 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- School and child care questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 | 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Washington County Contact Information
- Questions about County services: 651-430-6000 ; 651-430-6246 (TTY)
- COVID-19 health concerns and questions: 651-430-6655
- Financial help (including food support, cash assistance, and emergency assistance): 651-430-6455
- Housing/homelessness, transportation, social services, and more (including child protection and adult protection): 651-430-6455
- Emergency social services and after hours child protection (after 4:30pm and on weekends): 651-275-7400
- Property Records and Taxpayer Services (including license centers, recorder and registrar of titles, and vital records): 651-430-6175
- Washington County Crisis Response Unit (mobile crisis mental health services for adults and children): 651-275-7400
- In an emergency, dial 911
Watch For Symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
If you have symptoms and can manage those symptoms at home, you don’t have to seek health care or be tested for COVID-19. Just stay home while you are sick. If you are older or have underlying medical conditions, it may be helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have some specific advice for you. Some people with COVID-19 have worsened during the second week of illness.
Contact your health care provider before going to the clinic or emergency room if your symptoms worsen at any point or you feel you need to see a doctor.
For more information about managing symptoms and COVID-19 testing, visit MDH: About Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Expand the tabs below to find more information and resources.
Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.
- MDH: Strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota
- CDC: Resources for Households
- Videos for COVID-19 Response
Everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough.
Contact your health care provider if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing.
- Meals on Wheels: meal delivery service for older adults
- Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS): Second Harvest Heartland provides a box of nutritious food each month to low-income seniors 60 years and over
- Hunger Solutions: Free meals for kids
- Hunger Solutions: Find Help Map or Helpline (1-888-711-1151)
- SNAP Assistance from Second Harvest Heartland. SNAP information and application assistance available over the phone (844-764-5513 or 651-209-7963)
- How to prepare a 2-week emergency food supply
- 14-day meal kits: What to pack for neighbors/family who are unable to make trips to the grocery store.
- 14-day menu and shopping list: Buying 14 days or more worth of food can be a financial stretch. Take the guesswork out of what to purchase by using this guide.
Schools and child care providers, working together with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments.
- MDH: Strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Scroll down to "workplaces")
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
- COVID-19 Information for Businesses and Employers (MDH)
COVID-19 Update for Food Service & Public Pool Establishments
Under Executive Order from Governor Walz, effective at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 17th, all restaurants, bars, cafes, food courts, coffeehouses, public pools, and other places of public accommodation must be closed to public access. This means no dining or occupancy by customers within an establishment. The purpose of this Order is to reduce community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease and to protect the health and safety of the community.
- If a business continues to serve food, all food transactions should be in the form of delivery, walk-up, window-service, drive through, or drive-up.
- Takeout orders must be placed by customers while outside of the establishment.
- No more than five customers can be inside the establishment at a time to pick up and pay for pre-placed food orders.
- Takeout customers must stay at least six feet apart from one another when picking up food and must immediately leave the establishment after receiving their food.
The Executive Order indicates that food and pool establishments found willfully allowing use of pools or occupancy of food establishments for dining or activities other than immediately obtaining their food order for takeout are guilty of a misdemeanor. Washington County inspection staff or local law enforcement have been tasked under the Order with verifying compliance with these requirements at applicable businesses.
Resources for Food Service Establishments
The situation surrounding the outbreak is rapidly evolving and the information for travelers is changing as new information becomes available. Please review travel recommendations posted on CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel if you are planning to travel, and keep an eye on the news for updates on this evolving situation.
For information and recommendations, visit MDH: Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota. (Scroll down to "Community and faith-based organizations")
- Implement social distancing measures.
- Reduce activities (e.g., group congregation, religious services), especially for organizations with individuals with underlying medical conditions.
- Consider offering video/audio of events.
- Determine ways to continue providing support services to individuals at increased risk of severe disease (services, meals, checking in) while limiting group settings and exposures.
- Cancel large gatherings (e.g., more than 250 people, though threshold is at the discretion of the community) or move to smaller groupings.
- For organizations that serve high-risk populations, cancel gatherings of more than 10 people.
Continue These Activities
- Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases.
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if organization members/staff become symptomatic.
- Identify safe ways to serve those that are at high risk or vulnerable (outreach, assistance, etc.).
- Review, update, or develop emergency plans for the organization, with special consideration for individuals at increased risk of severe illness.
- Encourage staff and members to stay home and notify organization administrators of illness when sick.
- Encourage personal protective measures among organization/members and staff (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette).
- Clean frequently touched surfaces at organization gathering points daily.
- Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily available in building.