The Minnesota Department of Health indicated Wadena County had a confirmed case on their COVID-19 map Thursday morning and local health officials issued a news release confirming the case as presumptive.

Later that day, it was confirmed that the the case for Wadena County was actually misreported. Instead it was a Clay County case.

Wadena County Public Health Director Cindy Pederson issued the following statement she received from the state health department.

“Initial information that the Minnesota Department of Health received on a positive COVID 19 case indicated the individual lived in Wadena County. However, further investigation revealed the person lived in Clay County.”

On the day, the state added four cases in Hennepin County, one in Rice County, one in Carver County, three in Anoka County, one in Martin County, one in Mower County, and one the one in Clay County marking the first appearance of the virus in the northland.

According to a statement from Clay County Public Health, the case from northern Minnesota was a male between 18 and 24 who had been diagnosed in a healthcare facility and who had recently travelled internationally.

State health officials on Thursday broke down the testing source of the positive cases for the first time. Of the 89 positive findings so far, 67 have been determined at the state health lab, 14 by Mayo Clinic, 1 by Arup Laboratories, 2 by Labcorp and 2 from out of state providers.

As the announcement gained ground of a Wadena County case Thursday morning, Wadena County made the decision to limit public access to all county buildings effective 1 p.m. that day. Exterior doors to all county facilities are locked until further notice.

Right in step was the City of Wadena issuing an emergency declaration closing city offices immediately for an undetermined time.

Health officials have stressed recently that because they have begun limited testing and there is community transmission within Minnesota, the reported case is an undercount of the true spread of the virus within the state.

The state tested 374 people on Wednesday, a drop in numbers from previous days, and a reflection of their recent decision to limit scarce test kits to health care workers, the hospitalized and those living in congregate settings such a senior living centers.

The state has now tested 3,038 people. Private labs have tested hundreds of more Minnesotans during this time, although any positive cases identified through private testing are included in the positive case numbers reported by the health department.

Paul John Scott also contributed to this story.

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