The second COVID-19 death in Otter Tail County has been reported by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The patient was in the 90 to 99 age range, according to Jody Lien, Director of Public Health for Otter Tail County. She said that the death was not related to a long term care facility.

In all Monday, Otter Tail County has 149 reported cases in the county with 140 of those cases no longer requiring isolation.

The number of cases in Otter Tail County has recently spiked over during the month of July. With the county reporting 70 cases on July 1, to the current 149 cases. The county has added 56 cases this month, Lien said.

"As of today, that is 38% of our COVID-19 cases since we began to see the virus locally back in March," Lien said.

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"The rise is likely related to the transition from StayHome MN to StaySafe MN as we’ve begun to adjust the dials and reopen workplace and social settings in a measured way," Lien said. "Residents and visitors alike are interacting more within their communities and traveling further from home. In addition, social gatherings with that outside of immediate household members is having an impact. Settings that do not include social distancing and masking continue to contribute to the increase in exposure and community spread we are seeing in Otter Tail County. It is also important to note the median age of the cases in July was 36 years old."

"It continues to be important for Otter Tail County residents to use the public health tools we have to keep the spread of COVID-19 in our communities low," Lien said. "Wash your hands, use social distancing and wear a mask to protect yourself and others."

The recent rise in cases statewide prompted Gov. Tim Walz to issue an order requiring use of masks in indoor public places that went into effect Saturday, July 25.

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