Custer Health Reinforces Physical Distancing, Universal Health Precautions Following First Mercer County COVID-19 Case

Custer Health continues to reinforce physical distancing measures and basic hygiene for all residents following the announcement of the first positive COVID-19 case in Mercer County.

This announcement comes on a day in which North Dakota had its largest increase for confirmed COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, as 26 new cases were identified. Presently, there are 94 positive COVID-19 cases in North Dakota. A total of 18 counties in North Dakota have reported positive COVID-19 cases.

Mercer County’s first reported positive COVID-19 case is a man in his 50s. A determination for how this individual contracted the disease is still under investigation.

 “As more and more counties are confirming positive COVID-19 cases, we need to continue to do our part to slow the spread of this disease,” said Custer Health Administrator Erin Ourada. “This includes taking steps to ensure good hand hygiene, proper cough and sneeze etiquette, and following physical distancing guidelines.”

Steps every individual can incorporate into their lives to slow the spread of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap. In the absence of soap, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your T-Zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Practice physical distancing. Avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people. Avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts. Use drive-through, pickup or delivery options when available.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Call your healthcare provider if you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. In the absence of a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay away from individuals who are sick. Limit close contact (about six feet) with others as much as possible.

“We do want everyone to make sure they are mindful of their mental health during this pandemic,” said Ourada. “Physical distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Instead it may mean taking steps to alter how you can be social. The important part is to not just shut yourself off from the world. We are all in this together.”

For ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Dakota Department of Health has established a COVID-19 Hotline to help answer questions. You can call (866) 207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Individuals who need medical advice should contact their health care provider. A COVID-19 survey has been established on the North Dakota Department of Health website at