Emergency Management

The City of Cottage Grove seeks to promote a safer, less vulnerable community
with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters. 

Emergency Management logo white backgroundCottage Grove's Emergency Management Division works in collaboration with local, county, state, and federal officials and partners with neighboring jurisdictions to prepare for, protect against, respond to, mitigate the effects of, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.

The Department of Public Safety utilizes a comprehensive, flexible, all-hazards approach by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the emergency management capabilities for the City.

Any questions regarding the Emergency Management Division can be directed toward Deputy Director of Public Safety/Police Captain Gwen Martin at 651-458-6011 or Deputy Director of Public Safety/Fire Chief Rick Redenius at 651-458-2855 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

March 11, 2020
The City of Cottage Grove is actively engaged in our nation’s response to COVID-19 to ensure that we are prepared to protect the health and safety of our residents and those who work in or travel through Cottage Grove. Our Emergency Management Division is collaborating with county, state, and federal agencies to maintain situational awareness of COVID-19 impacts in our area, and we are working diligently to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota. 

COVID-19 Background
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. COVID-19 is a new virus that hasn't caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of infections, causing illness and in some cases death. Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily.

COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through:

  • coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • in more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)

The vast majority of people will have mild or moderate symptoms and will recover from this virus. Older people—and those with pre-existing medical conditions—have a greater risk for more serious illness.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, but many experts are at work developing one. As with any new vaccine, it must be tested to make certain it is safe and effective, and it may take over a year for a COVID-19 vaccine to become available.

You can take everyday preventive steps to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care.

Persons at Higher Risk of Becoming Seriously Ill from COVID-19: Older Adults and Individuals with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Older adults (age 60+) and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness, and in some cases death, if they become infected with COVID-19. Examples of pre-existing medical conditions include: cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions that impact the immune system's ability to fight germs.

Currently, people are at risk for contracting COVID-19 are ones who:

  • recently traveled to geographic areas of concern
  • have close, personal contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • care for people with COVID-19

If you are an older adult or you have one and more chronic health conditions, you can take action to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19:

  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.

Guidance for Travelers
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who are at risk for serious illness, including older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions, avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

If you must travel, CDC is updating travel advisories as warranted and has advised against nonessential travel to some geographic areas of concern. Visit the CDC travel advisory site to check on current travel warnings if you are planning a trip abroad.

Preparedness Measures
You can prepare in the following ways:

  • Have an adequate supply of nonprescriptive drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines.
  • Check your regular prescription drugs to make sure you have an adequate supply; refill your prescriptions if needed.
  • Have a thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer in case you become ill and must stay at home to recover.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick and what will be needed to care for them at home.
  • Have a two-week supply of water and food at home.

Stay Informed!
Sign up for CodeRED—the official emergency notification system for Washington County—to receive real-time, customized notifications via text, email, and/or voice message during emergencies (such as missing child alerts, severe weather, immediate health and/or safety concerns, evacuation notices, utility disruptions, and more). To learn about CodeRED and sign up to receive notifications, please visit our CodeRED page.

This is a rapidly evolving situation; the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available on the MDH COVID-19 website and the CDC COVID-19 website. If you have questions about infectious diseases, please call the MDH Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division (IDEPC) at 651-201-5414.