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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  Minnesota’s top public health official was in Rochester Tuesday to take part in a “thank you” event for those who were involved in the local response to the pandemic.

The event was organized by Olmsted County “to recognize individuals, teams, and organizations that were instrumental in the COVID-19 response in our community.”

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm was among the crowd of 300 invited to the event. Representatives from Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center and local government agencies were also there.

Olmsted County Board of Commissioners chair Stephanie Podulke was among those who spoke:

“Some in the room were involved in sharing information about COVID with our community. Some of you answered questions from residents and directed them to resources for help. Others played a key role in testing residents for COVID and following up with people who tested positive. Some of you were responsible for contact tracing and getting in touch with people who were close contacts of a person who tested positive. And some of you helped ensure the vaccine was widely available and accessible to help finally move us through the pandemic,” said Podulke.

“We are not done with COVID yet. There are still unvaccinated people in our community, variants that we need to learn more about, and precautions we still need to take. However, having seen the collaboration and partnerships built throughout Olmsted County this past year, I’m confident we have the strength to continue pulling through what is yet to come,” Podulke continued.

Current figures show about 80-percent of Olmsted County residents are now fully vaccinated against the virus.

News update:  Two women taken to hospital after machete attack in Rochester.

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