St. Louis County Public Health has launched an information phone line and web page to help people access accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The phone number is 218-625-3600. Public health professionals will answer and return calls during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..
The county also has added information to its website about public health’s role in responding to the virus, along with links to credible resources such as the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. That information is online at stlouiscountymn.gov/covid19.
“We want people to be informed so they can make educated decisions about how best to prepare and protect themselves and those around them,” said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director. “While COVID-19 is a new virus, and there are many unknowns, it is not a reason to panic.”
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. However, the situation has been changing rapidly and Public Health wants to ensure accurate information is readily available.
While there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, the best prevention tips are similar to recommendations to avoid influenza: Wash hands frequently using soap and water; and use hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol. Stay home if sick to avoid spreading germs. Avoid touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as counter tops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles.
It is recommended that people prepare for the possibility that they or someone in their family could get sick, which would mean staying at home for up to two weeks. People should have a plan to ensure they have sufficient prescription medications and food. Check with employers about options for working from home. Think about friends and family who could assist you or whom you could assist in a quarantine situation.
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus with symptoms similar to influenza, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. So far, more than 80% of cases have experienced only minor symptoms. People most at risk from COVID-19 are the elderly and those with other health conditions.