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Winona Daily News: Winona County breaks 1,000 COVID-19 case mark; local higher education institutes react

By Rachel Mergen, Winona Daily News, October 5, 2020

Winona County hit the 1,000 mark with COVID-19 cases Monday, a little over six months after the county’s first case. The increase has been quick in recent months, paralleling the return of college students, with 500 cases having just been hit at the start of September. ...

Minnesota State College Southeast has seen the least amount of cases of the three Winona universities, possibly due to most of the college's classes being moved online for the fall semester.

As of Sept. 30, which was the most recent data released, 17 cases had been confirmed in the college's community of employees and students.

In response to the 1,000 case mark being reached, Josiah Litant, MSC SE vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said, "This has been a challenging time for Winona and the college. We are grateful to everyone in our community who has worked hard to implement safety strategies. We believe that this has helped keep the numbers from being far higher. At Minnesota State College Southeast, we have had excellent participation from employees, students, and visitors in wearing masks, staying socially distanced and completing our daily self-screening tool.

"Most importantly, we have had great compliance from people in staying home if they have symptoms and notifying the college of possible exposures. We are working hard to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible on campus, and we can only do that because the Winona community as a whole is similarly committed to widespread safety measures to help keep our local numbers as low as possible. One thousand cases is certainly a serious milestone; yet if we weren't following the safety measures we have been all across town, that number would have been many, many times higher," Litant said.

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