Northern Wilds Magazine

Cook County Travel Advisory Revision

Cook County, May 19 –This is a revision to a travel advisory issued by the Cook County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in response to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19. The County Board above all advises that all residents and visitors abide by the most recent Executive Orders issued by the governor and any changes to state law.

Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the operational changes by individual businesses based on the governor’s orders, the Board of Commissioners issues this travel advisory for persons planning to visit Cook County.

  • Due to high community transmission in certain areas of the state and across the nation, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, consistent with federal guidance and to protect our neighbors, has encouraged Minnesotans to stay safe and has strongly discouraged them from engaging in unnecessary travel.
  • Those travelers who choose to visit Cook County during the COVID-19 pandemic should be advised, pursuant to the governor’s orders, that bars and restaurants are currently closed and, even when they reopen, will be serving a limited number of guests with restrictions in place. Several businesses are open for curbside service only, and some are prohibiting entry into the store, such as most Grand Marais area grocery stores and the Grand Marais Municipal Liquor Store.

Retail businesses are opening with plans to ensure the safety of employees and the public. Access to businesses may be limited and require that individuals wear face coverings. A business can refuse service to individuals ignoring these restrictions.

Although many lodging businesses have opened with plans and restrictions, others are choosing to remain closed. Both private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational camping, but dispersed and remote camping sites (such as BWCAW campsites) are open for single household use only. Visitors should plan accordingly.

  • Cook County has one of the highest populations of older adults in the State of Minnesota. This population is among those at the highest risk of COVID-19; it is our priority to keep our older residents healthy and safe. And, given the County’s limited healthcare infrastructure, visitors who are feeling sick before they arrive should stay home. Visitors who get here and start to feel sick should go home immediately. Your regular health care team can offer you continuity of care.
  • This is an ever-changing and very serious health situation, and Cook County needs to be diligent in its response. Please be aware that additional health and travel restrictions may be imposed during this time.

For the most current information related to Cook County’s COVID-19 response, including information about business hours and services, please visit:

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