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Patient at DHS-operated facility in St. Peter dies of COVID-19

FILE — A patient at a DHS-operated facility on the Forensic Services campus in St. Peter,...
FILE — A patient at a DHS-operated facility on the Forensic Services campus in St. Peter, Minn., died Monday, Oct. 11, of COVID-19. It is the first COVID-related death on the campus.(Minnesota Department of Human Services)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:40 AM CDT
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ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota Department of Human Services says a patient at a DHS-operated facility on the Forensic Services campus in St. Peter died October 11 of COVID-19.

It is the first COVID-related death on the campus. The deceased’s family has been notified. Under patient data privacy laws, no further information can be released.

“We’re deeply saddened by this loss,” said Carol Olson, executive director of Forensic Services in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones.”

Since the pandemic began, five patients, clients or residents in DHS-operated facilities have died of COVID-19. DHS says it cares for about 12,000 people each year in its psychiatric hospitals and other inpatient mental health facilities; residential addiction treatment facilities; and group homes.

For the past year and a half, DHS says Forensic Services facilities have implemented stringent infection-prevention and control measures to protect residents and staff from COVID-19. DHS says all patients have had the opportunity to be vaccinated and staff who have not provided proof of vaccination are required to test weekly for COVID. In addition to those measures, DHS says the affected facility has begun an extra round of voluntary testing for residents and staff in order to quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic COVID infections. Testing takes place once a week and will continue until the facility has gone two weeks without a new positive case.

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