The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed the second presumptive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in St. Louis County. The individual is a woman in her early 60s who is currently recovering at home. Her infection is linked to domestic travel, and not the result of community transmission. The woman was tested on March 19. It is believed she has had contact only with members of her immediate household, and they have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
St. Louis County Public Health has not been asked to provide essential services.
"We are encouraged to hear that this again is a travel-connected case, and not community transmission," said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich, "But we also recognize it is likely only a matter of time, and that is why we continue to emphasize the preventive recommendations to all."
"People are asking for more specific information such as what part of our large county these cases are in, saying they'd take different precautions based on the location," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director. "We are following MDH guidelines. My advice is people should act as if there is a confirmed case right in their neighborhood. There is limited testing available, so we have to assume there are more cases in our midst, and we need everyone's cooperation on containing the spread."
Preventative steps that everyone should be taking 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.
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.