The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed a presumptive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dakota County. COVID-19 test results from the MDH Public Health Laboratory are considered presumptive, or tentative, until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done additional testing. Minnesota health officials consider presumptive results actionable.
The most recent case is a resident of Dakota County who traveled to Europe in February. After the patient sought care, samples were collected from the person and sent to the MDH Public Health Laboratory for testing on March 11 where it was determined to be a positive case. Similar to Minnesota's previous presumptive cases, MDH has sent the samples to the CDC for confirmatory testing.
“The resident is currently isolated at home," said Bonnie Brueshoff, Director of Dakota County Public Health. “We are working with health officials from the Minnesota Department of Health to evaluate where this person has traveled and who they might have come in contact with. People identified will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms."
Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik shared his support and emphasized the importance of partnerships.
“Dakota County is fortunate to have strong public health and emergency preparedness teams to keep our residents safe and healthy," said Slavik. “By working collaboratively with local, state, and national agencies, we'll be better able to monitor and contain this outbreak."
Since the outbreak was first reported in December 2019, more than 118,300 cases and 4,200 deaths have been reported in countries around the world. That total includes more than 900 U.S. cases and 29 deaths.
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.
According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. Health officials recommend individuals and families make a plan in case someone gets sick. They also suggest following the same steps for avoiding the flu:
- Stay home and away from others if you are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.
- Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day.
MDH has set up a public hotline that will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920. Any person can call this number with questions about COVID-19.
Visit www.cdc.gov and www.health.state.mn.us for more information about COVID-19.