By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of Minnesota’s leaders in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 will retire next month.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday that Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann will retire Feb. 2.

“Serving as the director of the infectious disease division has been one of the great honors of my life,” Ehresmann said in a release. “Like so many people who have worked in a job they love, I have mixed feelings about saying goodbye. That said, it has been my privilege to work with an amazing team and I have every confidence I am handing the baton to the best in the business.”

Kris Ehresmann (credit: CBS)

Ehresmann, a graduate of St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota, has worked in public health in Minnesota for more than 30 years.

Minnesotans have become more familiar with Ehresmann since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. When MDH was holding weekly updates on the virus, Ehresmann was one of the key voices.

In a release, MDH also highlighted her work on the 2017 measles outbreak and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

“Kris Ehresmann has played a huge role in public health not only in Minnesota but nationally,” MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. “I have the highest regard for her skill as a public health worker, a communicator and a leader. She has helped guide Minnesota through many difficult public health challenges, and along the way she cultivated a new generation of talented public health leaders within MDH and across the state.”

MDH said Emily Emerson, Ehresmann’s current assistant director, will take her position in the interim while a national search for a new director is conducted.