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County Connections: Maintaining Access to PHHS Programs, Staff and Services

May 01, 2020 09:42AM ● By Editor

By Public Health and Human Services Director Alison McIntyre, Cook County MN - May 1, 2020

One of the best ways that we as a community can help prevent the spread of this virus is to stay home. By staying home, we can make a real difference for Cook County.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and comply with the governor’s stay at home order, access to the Cook County courthouse and Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) department is currently limited to staff providing essential services such as those outlined below. Employees are available to address your questions via phone or email and, in very limited circumstances, by arranging an intake meeting with social worker.

Following are ways that you can connect with PHHS services and staff from home: 

Health Care and Economic Assistance Programs

  • Cash Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Care or Emergency Assistance: Apply online at
  • Medical Assistance and other MN Health Care Programs: Apply online at 
  • For questions about public assistance or health care programs: 
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Call: (218) 387-3620

To submit a paper application, renewal form or verifications:
  • Email: [email protected]  
  • Fax: (218) 387-3020
  • Mail:  Cook County Public Health and Human Services, 411 W. 2nd Street Grand Marais, MN 55604
  • A drop box is also located on the ramp on the north end of the Cook County courthouse

 Social Services

  • Contact a social worker
  • Call: (218) 387-3620 during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm)
  • Email[email protected]
  • Make a report of suspected adult maltreatment: call (844) 880-1574
  • Make a report of suspected child maltreatment: call (218) 387-3620 to speak with the intake worker (Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm) or Cook County Sheriff’s office at (218) 387-3030 afterhours and on weekends
  • After business hours contact local law enforcement or dial 911 in an emergency
  • Contact the behavioral health crisis line: call (218) 628-1800 or text MN to 741741

  • In very limited situations, for example individuals who do not have a safe place to discuss their needs, social work staff may arrange for a face-to-face meeting at PHHS within the Cook County courthouse. Prior to arranging for a face-to-face meeting, social work staff will conduct a health screening by phone to assess the safety of a face-to-face visit. If the screening indicates potential health risks, social work staff will make every effort to help work through an individual’s needs over the phone 

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance

If you have lost work hours or employment due to COVID-19, you can also apply for MN Unemployment Insurance. Information regarding unemployment and COVID-19 is available at

Information about COVID-19:

  • Cook County COVID-19 Phone Line: 218-387-3668 open Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm

General information

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service

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