2 passengers arriving at MSP Airport told to self-quarantine after coming into contact with COVID-19 case in Europe

State health officials have instructed two passengers who arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International on a flight from Europe Tuesday afternoon to self-quarantine for two weeks because they encountered a person confirmed to have the new coronavirus while abroad.  

The Minnesota Department of Health said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Quarantine Station at MSP Airport notified them about the two passengers. 

Upon landing at MSP Airport, a medical professional from the CDC’s Quarantine Station evaluated the two passengers and determined they did not have symptoms of COVID-19. They had contact with a known, confirmed case of the virus, however, MDH instructed the two passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days. If they develop symptoms, the health department will test them for COVID-19. 

In a conference call Wednesday afternoon, MDH officials said the person with COVID-19, who the other two came in contact with, was supposed to fly back with them but wasn't allowed to travel because of their infection. It isn't known if that person is a resident of Minnesota. Officials reiterated the two under the voluntary quarantine were allowed travel back to Minnesota because they haven't shown any symptoms of COVID-19. 

Health officials will contact the other passengers on the plane if anyone on the flight tests positive with COVID-19.

Wednesday, the University of Minnesota released a statement saying two of its students returning from Europe were self-quarantined for two weeks after having contact with someone who had confirmed COVID-19. Those individuals also received a health evaluation at the CDC's Quarantine Station. 

The students have not been in any University-owned buildings, including academic buildings or residence halls since their return, the University said in its statement. 

It is unclear if those two students are the same individuals that self-quarantined in the Department of Health report.

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MDH is reminding Minnesotans to take the following steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections: 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Stay home when sick
  • Stay informed by visiting the MDH and CDC websites often

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