COVID 1 (copy)

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Scott County surpassed 3,000 this month.

Over 640 new cases were recorded locally in a four-week span between Sept. 9 and Oct. 9.

Scott County is experiencing widespread, escalating community spread, Lisa Brodsky, the county’s public health director, told the county’s Board of Commissioners this month.

As of early October, no schools in Scott or Dakota counties had reported five or more confirmed cases, according to the state’s data.

But local districts are still being impacted by confirmed cases and quarantines, Brodsky said.

“One of the schools on our call last week said they had 93 students out in quarantine,” she told commissioners.

Locally, residents are making less emergency room visits and preventative care visits, which Brodsky said is concerning and reflected in other trends.

In Scott County, drug overdose deaths doubled March 1-Sept. 20 compared to the same time last year.

Deaths by suicide also increased within that timeframe with 10 recorded deaths compared to six last year.

As COVID-19 cases spike across the Midwest, some patients requiring hospitalization are being diverted away from their local communities to receive care.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Health Department in South Dakota sent two coronavirus patients to Burnsville for hospital treatment, The Associated Press reported this month.

Minnesota Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff said Tuesday that cases in Minnesota are growing faster than tests, but new testing programs expected to the launched in the next few weeks will help increase and diversify the state’s testing capacity.

Huff said a pilot program, expected to be fully announced soon, will allow Minnesotans to perform a COVID-19 test at-home by registering online and receiving a test kit via UPS.

The kits will be processed locally at the new Infinity Biologix lab, which is expected to open in Oakdale next week. The lab will employ 250 Minnesotans, state officials have said, and will be able process 30,000 saliva kits per day once fully operational.

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