By Dana Kazel
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed five new presumptive cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in St. Louis County. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 10. The first case was reported March 21.
One of the patients — a woman in her early 60s — is currently hospitalized for treatment. The other individuals — two men and two women, all in their 20s and 30s — are recovering at home. At least one of those cases is linked to an earlier confirmed case.
“We are seeing confirmed cases in both urban and rural parts of St. Louis County,” said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, “and we continue to assume there are more cases here than what is confirmed due to limited testing. This is also our first instance of a person having serious enough symptoms to require hospitalization, and we wish her all the best for a full recovery.”
Preventative steps that everyone should be taking include:
. Obey the Goveror’s executive order and stay at home
. Stay home and avoid even essential travel 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.
People also can visit stlouiscountymn.gov/covid19 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.