FERGUS FALLS -- County Commissioner and board chairman Lee Rogness emphasized on April 1 that the five-person county board, and all departments within county government, have a mission related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We will do our utmost to protect all county residents during the coronavirus pandemic,” Rogness said. “We’re still providing essential services while at the same time protecting our staff and county residents as a whole.”

Rogness added that every resource within county government will be used to assist residents throughout Otter Tail County.

“Different sections of the county will have different needs relating to COVID-19,” he said, adding that Otter Tail County is larger in size than the state of Rhode Island. “We need to stay on task.”

Rogness praised county residents for being part of what he describes as, “the new norm.”

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The county board chairman and other four commissioners (Wayne Johnson, Doug Huebsch, Betty Murphy and John Lindquist) agree that county residents are dealing very well with the dramatic changes that were needed in light of the COVID-19 onslaught.

This includes staying at home, social distancing, hand washing and other preventive measures.

County board meetings will, for the foreseeable future, be available online for the general public.

Rogness again emphasized coordination and communication with the two main health care providers in Otter Tail County, namely the hospitals in Fergus Falls and Perham.

“County departments and employees will continue to access the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19 and communicate this to county residents,” he added.