County Manager Column from March 24, 2020

This column was originally published as a "From the County Manager" column on our employee intranet.

March 24 COVID-19 update

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing unprecedented challenges and changes to our communities across Ramsey County, across Minnesota, across our nation and across our world.

In recent days, we have had somber news that has brought this especially close to home. We learned that Minnesota’s first COVID-19-related death occurred here in Ramsey County. Our thoughts and wishes are with the individual’s family and friends during their time of loss. And yesterday, we confirmed that our first Ramsey County employee has contracted coronavirus. Our thoughts and wishes are also with our colleague for a full and speedy recovery.

We’ve also had uplifting news: Yesterday, the hard work of hundreds of employees throughout last week was realized as we opened with a new service delivery model that continues to provide our communities with the resources they depend on from us across our organization in new ways. Counties around our state and country are looking at our work as a model for ensuring continuity of essential services in a time of community crisis. Our response continues to inspire me and countless others inside and outside of our organization. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do across our multi-faceted response effort.

We’ve also been communicating on the issues above as they’ve occurred as we attempt to keep you current with all of these developments over the past few days. I have heard from so many of you that you’ve read the articles or watched the videos; know that your insights and belief in this organization are energizing and uplifting as we forge ahead together. Please see the updates and resources directly linked below and continue to visit ramseycounty.us/coronavirus for the latest information.

Later this week, we’ll be posting video messages from the leadership of our Public Health department to help separate the facts and the myths about COVID-19 and what we can continue doing in our workplaces to be safe and effective. I know that a lot of fear and partial information continues to exist, and I see it as our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone feels safe and protected while continuing to fulfill our service mission throughout the duration of this COVID-19 emergency. Hopefully these videos will help remind us that there is a lot we can do to stay safe and continue our work.

Thank you so much again for your perseverance, hard work and spirit of service during this public health emergency that is unprecedented in our lifetimes.

We’ll be in touch again soon.

-Ryan