The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed a case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cass County.
The county resident is an older person with no known travel history. The patient developed symptoms March 9 and sought health care treatment March 16.
The Minnesota Department of Health informed the county of the confirmed case Saturday evening. Cass County Public Health officials will not be releasing where in Cass County the resident resides.
“The resident is currently isolated at home,” said Jeri Seegmiller, County Team leader with Cass County Health Human and Veteran Services. “People identified positive will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and should monitor for worsening symptoms.”
Cass County Board Chair Neal Gaalswyk shared his support and concern for the affected individual and emphasized the importance of partnerships.
“Cass County is fortunate to have strong public health and emergency preparedness teams working to keep our residents safe and healthy,” said Gaalswyk. “By working collaboratively with local, state, and national agencies, we’ll be better able to monitor and contain this outbreak. I know this is hard news and may cause some folks to become anxious. We will get through this and Cass County will remain a great place to live.”
Since the outbreak was first reported in December 2019, more than 266,073 cases and 11,184 deaths have been reported in countries around the world. That total includes more than 15,219 U.S. cases and 201 deaths as of Friday per the Centers of Disease Control.
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.
In addition to following social distancing recommendations, they also suggest following the same steps used 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 daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is (651) 201-3920. Any person can call this number with questions about COVID-19.