Skip to Content

Lake of the Woods only county in tri-state area with zero confirmed COVID-19 cases

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

LAKE OF THE WOODS, MN -- As of Wednesday, Minnesota's Lake of the Woods County is the only county in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan with zero confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Lake of the Woods County, known as the Walleye capital of the world, relies on tourism and residents say the small population is a major factor.

"We have a lot of lands. We kid around we probably have more deer than we have people," Joe Henry, executive director of the Lake of the Woods County Tourism Bureau said.

Others say residents have been strictly following local and state guidelines.

"Precautions everyone is taking, I know is using masks as far as I'm aware of, and the general health conduct and protocols as well," Haley Olson, with Flag Island Resort, said.

The Lake of the Woods County Sheriff's Office said the county has come together to keep everyone safe.

Meanwhile, the County's Emergency Management team is working with CHI Lakewood Public Health and Hospital to monitor any new developments.

Those who work at resorts on the northside of the lake say the closure of the Canadian border has also kept a rush of tourists out of the area.

"The only way to drive to the Northwest Angle is to travel through Canada and then enter back through Minnesota," said Henry.

But with fewer tourists comes less business, especially for Flag Island Resort based in the Northwest Angle area.

Olson said they're down 75% in cabin sales.

"Normally we would be completely booked, and right now we have one cabin on camp," Olson said.

While businesses may be hurting, locals add the precautions bring peace of mind.

"The overall concern is definitely high, I mean we have workers here who have health issues and we definitely don't want to get them sick by any means," said Olson.

Another factor residents hope will keep COVID-19 out of their home is Governor Tim Walz's announcement on a statewide mask mandate.

"They can just put it on the state and say you know what I'm sorry but it's a state law, that everyone wears a mask. A mandate and we have to enforce that," Henry said.

KBJR logo

Emma Quinn

Skip to content