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Public health workers conducting voluntary COVID-19 surveys this week in Alexandria, other area towns

Glenwood, Barrett, Long Prairie also part of statewide Minnesota Department of Health effort this week.

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Essentia Health is seeking patients for a nationwide study to help researchers understand how and why COVID-19 impacts people in different ways. (Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

COVID-19 is a strange and sneaky virus, and some people have it without knowing it or displaying any symptoms.

In an effort to find out the extent of the problem, the Minnesota Department of Health is conducting voluntary door-to-door COVID-19 surveys at random households across the state, including working this week in Alexandria, Barrett, Glenwood and Long Prairie.

The survey is optional and gives people the chance for a free COVID-19 test and a test that looks for COVID-19 antibodies.

Thursday, Sept. 24, through Saturday, Sept. 26, look for public health workers wearing colored vests, gloves, masks, and other protective gear.

During this time, surveys will also be conducted in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Maine (north of Phelps Mill Park in Otter Tail County), Wadena and other cities.


Surveys began Sept. 14 in other parts of the state and will end Sept. 30.

The survey results will be available in about three weeks and will help public health workers, and others who are part of the COVID-19 response, make decisions that best meet the needs of each community affected by COVID-19, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Participants with positive results for either test will be contacted by a nurse to receive additional information. All questionnaire responses and results will be kept private.

“We encourage people to participate in the survey if their household is selected. Along with being able to receive free, in-home testing for current and past COVID-19 infection, this is a unique opportunity for people to help us learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 and aid in our efforts to fight this pandemic,” Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota state epidemiologist with the Department of Health said in a statement dated Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health in Douglas County and the surrounding area as of Sept. 23 (cumulative) are:

Douglas County – 278 (2 deaths).

Grant – 59 (4 deaths).

Otter Tail – 407 (4 deaths).


Pope – 90 (no deaths).

Stearns – 3,865 (24 deaths).

Stevens – 94 (1 death)

Todd – 483 (2 deaths).

Statewide (cumulative) – 92,100 (1,985 deaths).

Active cases in Douglas County – 73 (according to Horizon Public Health as of Sept. 23).

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