The Minnesota Department of Health reported three COVID-19 cases among staff at The Cottage memory care unit at Ecumen in Detroit Lakes.

“Ecumen Detroit Lakes does not currently have any cases of COVID-19,” Ecumen spokesman Sue Sorensen Lee said in an email statement on Thursday, July 16. “We did have three team members who tested positive, which we shared with our residents and family members. We're pleased to share that they are each back at work having recovered from the virus.”

It used to be that Ecumen would stay on that state list of congregant housing facilities forever. But as of July 10, care facilities that don’t have any new COVID-19 cases for 28 days are removed from the list. If there’s a new exposure, they will once again be listed. The list is updated on Fridays, according to the Health Department.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Becker County.

As of Thursday, total cases reported in Becker County was at 71, up from 56 a few days earlier.

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“I am sure it is related to the contact people had over the Fourth of July,” said Kristin Bausman, Becker County Public Health supervisor. “We’re just encouraging the preventative measures of wearing masks and six feet of distancing,” she said. “As the weather gets warmer, it gets harder and harder to do some of these processes.”

The recent move by Walmart to require customers to wear masks at stores nationwide can only help fight COVID-19, she said.

“I know that (mask wearing) is a strong recommendation from the Minnesota Department of Health and the governor’s office, and I hope people take that into consideration,” Bausman said. “They’ve shown that it does prevent the transmission.”

People may be tired of worrying about the coronavirus after all this time, but to defeat it, people need to go back to the basics and stay the course, she said.

“Make sure people are washing hands, staying home when they’re sick, all those basic recommendations that we implemented in March -- especially as the numbers are increasing,” she said.