Coronavirus test kit

This photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus.

The number of positive tests for COVID-19 among Minnesota residents is now at nine with new cases in Hennepin, Dakota and Stearns counties, state health officials said Thursday as they prepared their latest briefing on the spread of coronavirus.

The announcement comes a day after Minnesota confirmed its fourth and fifth cases of COVID-19, with the patients in Olmsted and Ramsey counties recovering at home.

The resident of Dakota County traveled to Europe in February, according to a press release from that county's Department of Public Health. 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.”

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. 

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. 

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