March 8, 2020
Health officials confirm second case of novel coronavirus in Minnesota
Patient is travel-associated and is recovering at home; health officials working to prevent additional cases
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today confirmed a second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The case is a resident of Carver County in their 50s who was likely exposed to COVID-19 while traveling in Europe in late February.
The patient developed symptoms on March 2, and sought health care Saturday, March 7. Samples were collected from the person and sent to the MDH Public Health Laboratory for testing and the test was found positive late this afternoon, March 8. As with the COVID-19 case announced Friday, MDH is awaiting confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) but health officials consider the presumptive results actionable.
The patient is in isolation at home and is recovering. MDH is working with Carver County Public Health and health care partners to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the infected person. These people will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm emphasized the important role every Minnesotan can play in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“While our public health workers are busy tracking down potentially exposed people and evaluating potential cases, the rest of us must do our part,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “First and foremost that means staying home when you are sick. It also means covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, and avoiding touching your face throughout the day.”
Since the outbreak started in China in December 2019, more than 107,700 cases and 3,600 deaths have been reported in countries around the worlds. That total includes more than 500 U.S. cases and 21 deaths.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said her team is working with the CDC and Carver County Public Health on the case and contact investigation.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza is spread. It can also spread when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
More information about coronavirus can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus website. MDH has set up a public hotline that will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.