Minnesota confirms first case of COVID-19 virus
Mar 06, 2020 04:07PM
From Minnesota Public Radio News - March 6, 2020
The Minnesota Department of Health says an older adult resident of Ramsey County who recently traveled on a cruise ship with a known COVID-19 case is Minnesota’s first confirmed presumptive case of the coronavirus.
The patient is “currently in isolation at home and is recovering,” the Minnesota Department of Health said late Friday afternoon.Health officials say the Ramsey County patient began to develop symptoms on Feb. 25 and sought health care Thursday. Samples were collected from the person and sent to the state Health Department laboratory.
The agency is awaiting confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control, but health officials consider the “presumptive results actionable.”
The department said it was working to identify and reach out to all those who may have come in contact with the infected person and will ask them to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure; they will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
If COVID-19 begins to spread in Minnesota, “state and local public health authorities would consider community interventions such as temporary closures of child care facilities and schools,” the Health Department said in a statement.
Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm are expected to brief reporters at 4p.m.
Anticipating the arrival of COVID-19, the state Health Department had already requested $25 million in state funding to deal with a coronavirus outbreak even before Friday’s announcement.
On Thursday, Deputy Health Commissioner Margaret Kelly said she expected to shift agency staff to deal with the outbreak for some time.
"We will average about 100 people in redeployment for the length of the outbreak,” she said, estimating the duration to be a year.
Since the outbreak started in China in December, more than 100,000 cases and 3,400 deaths have been reported in more than 80 countries. That total includes 233 U.S. cases and 14 deaths as of Friday morning, the Health Department said.
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