Rice County has its first-lab confirmed case of COVID-19.

Confirmation came late Wednesday from the Minnesota Department of Health. According to a release from Rice County Public Health, the case is linked to recent international travel and the individual was seen on an outpatient basis.

Minnesota Department of Health staff will be working with Rice County Public Health staff on followup. Cases are isolated to prevent disease spread and a contact investigation is completed to identify close contacts. Close contacts are quarantined for 14 days from their exposure and monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms.

As of March 19, Minnesota had 89 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and some cases indicate community transmission.

The Minnesota Department of Health and Gov. Tim Walz have implemented community mitigation measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota and place less demand on the health care sector so the most seriously ill people get the care they need.

Public Health officials recommend anyone 70 years and older, and those with underlying health conditions stay home as possible and avoid gatherings and other instances of potential exposures, including travel.

Current recommendation is that if you are sick with respiratory symptoms or fever, stay at home for seven days after illness onset, or 72 hours after resolution of the fever, whichever is longer.

Testing ability is currently limited, and prioritized to those most at risk. If you can manage your symptoms, you don’t need to be tested – testing would not change the recommendations for care or how you would be clinically managed since there is not a vaccine or medication to treat COVID-19 at this time.

Those who are so ill they need to seek medical attention should call their health care provider.

Reminders:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick

• If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick

• Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water

• Cover your coughs and sneezes

• Stay home when you are sick

• Avoid crowds and maintain social distancing of six feet

• Stay informed

The most up to date information about COVID-19 can be found online at

CDC: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health: health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

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