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Minnesota health officials confirm case of COVID-19 in St. Louis County


March 20, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed a presumptive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in St. Louis County. The individual is a woman in her late 60s who is currently recovering at home. Her infection is linked to domestic travel, and not the result of community transmission, according to the following St. Louis County press release issued Saturday morning, March 21.

“At this point, there has been no request for the County to provide any essential services," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, “and it is believed she has had no contact with anyone outside her family. Close contacts have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms."

"First and foremost, we want to extend our best wishes to this individual for a quick recovery," said Commissioner Mike Jugovich, St. Louis County Board Chair. "Second, while we understand this will raise the concern level for many of our citizens, we have been preparing for this for weeks. We encourage everyone to continue to follow the recommendations of medical experts on how best to protect themselves and contain the spread of this virus."

Those recommendations include:

Stay home if sick

Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow

Avoid touching mouth and face

Practice general good health behaviors, including staying hydrated and well-rested

In a majority of cases, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Anyone with clinical questions about the COVID-19 virus, such as identifying symptoms or whether testing is needed, can call Essentia Health at 1-833-494-0836; or St. Luke's at 218-249-4200. Non-clinical questions, such as preventative steps to take or anything travel-related, can be directed to the St. Louis County Public Health information line at 218-625-3600 or the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-3920.

Community Memorial Hospital and the CMH Raiter Clinic are asking people who think they should be tested to call the Nurse Hotline at 218-499-6799. A nurse will help decide whether or not someone should be tested, and arrange a time to come to the ambulance entrance to the emergency room at CMH, to avoid making any other patients sick. Leave a message if needed on this 24-hour hotline.

People also can visit for the latest information, as well as to find links to trusted information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), World Health Organization (WHO) and more.


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