With COVID-19 now in Rice County, in a press release Northfield Hospital + Clinics says your best protection is to stay home and practice social distancing. 

The organization states slowing the spread of coronavirus is important to keep from overwhelming hospitals and medical teams.

Rice County Public Health was notified late Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Rice County. The confirmed case is linked to recent international travel and was seen on an outpatient basis.

"MDH staff is working with Rice County Public Health staff on follow-up," the release states. "Cases are isolated to prevent disease spread; MDH and county health officials complete a contact investigation to identify close contacts. Those individuals are notified by MDH, and quarantined for 14 days from their exposure and monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms." 

MDH contacts individuals who may have been in contact with a confirmed case. If there is a case detected within your circle of friends, family, acquaintances, MDH will contact you.

The release states if you think you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms: fever over 100.4, cough, labored breathing. If you develop symptoms, call the clinic and a triage nurse will discuss your symptoms: 507-646-1494. After hours, call the Emergency Department: 507-646-1100.

If you are sick with respiratory symptoms or fever, stay at home for 7 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," the release states. "If you can manage your symptoms, you don’t need to be tested — testing would not change the recommendations for your care or how you would be clinically managed, since there is not a vaccine or medication to treat COVID-19 at this time." 

MDH reports cases of COVID-19 by county. Information is updated daily: MDH Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website. MDH’s COVID-19 public hotline from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. is 651-201-3920.

See all COVID-19 news from NH+C here: bit.ly/nhc-news

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