Otter Tail stands at 6 COVID-19 cases


FERGUS FALLS -- A fifth lab-confirmed case for the coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported in Otter Tail County last week, and a sixth case was reported Sunday, April 19, on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

County Public Health Director Jody Lien told county commissioners during a Friday, April 17, online meeting that county public health is working with state health officials to obtain local county level data on the number of tests completed in Otter Tail County.

Wilkin County had seven positive tests and two deaths through April 17. There were 43 positive tests in Clay County, and one death.

One positive test was reported in both Becker and Douglas counties, but no deaths. Two positive tests were reported in Todd County, but no deaths.

There were no positives tests in either Grant or Wadena counties.


Lien said she and county public health employees continue to be concerned with asymptomatic transmission. This refers to transmission of the COVID-19 virus from a person who does not develop symptoms.

“It’s imperative that we in west-central Minnesota do all we can to help flatten the COVID-19 curve,” Lien said.

She said that two tests, one being the Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) test and the other being an antibody test, are the dominant tests at the present time in Otter Tail County and other areas of Minnesota.

“PCR gives a good indication of who is infected,” Lien said, “and an antibody test is a way for public health to determine who has been infected and who should be immune from the virus.”

She said the overall goal is to get a handle on what proportion of the population is theoretically immune to the virus.

“Social distancing, use of face masks and other safety precautions still must be the norm,” Lien said.

Six cases

More information and assistance

  • MDH COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920 or 800-657-3903. The hotline is available seven days a week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • School and child care hotline: 651-297-1304 or 800-657-3504
  • MDH COVID-19 website:
  • Otter Tail County Public Health is available to answer general questions regarding COVID-19 at 218-998-8320 or 888-349-2581, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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