2nd case of coronavirus confirmed in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Health officials say they have confirmed the second case of COVID-19 coronavirus in the state after the state tested 31 people over the weekend. 

The patient is a Carver County resident in their 50s who was likely exposed to the virus while in Europe in late February, health officials say.

According to MDH, the patient developed symptoms on March 2 and sought treatment on Saturday. Tests by MDH came back positive Sunday, officials say, but they are waiting on results from the CDC for official confirmation.

The patient is in isolation at home and is recovering. Carver County Public Health is assisting the patient and the state during treatment. The person will be quarantined for 14 days, during which they will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. 

“While our public health workers are busy tracking down potentially exposed people and evaluating potential cases, the rest of us must do our part,” Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. “First and foremost that means staying home when you are sick. It also means covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, and avoiding touching your face throughout the day.”

Carver County Public Health Director Richard Scott released a statement Sunday night: 

Our Carver County Public Health team plans to work hand-in-hand with MDH officials to contact anyone who may have come in contact with this person. The health and safety of County residents is of the utmost importance, and we’ll continue to work with our Cities, Townships, schools, health-care facilities, first responders and other community partners to ensure a coordinated and thorough response in support of all our residents.

More than 107,700 cases of COVID-19 and 3,600 deaths have been reported worldwide. In the U.S., more than 500 cases have been reported causing 21 deaths. 

The Department of Health says the coronavirus is spread like influenza. It can also spread when people touch surfaces contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

Over the weekend, 31 more patients have been tested for coronavirus. This is the only new case.

The first case, reported on Friday, was a Ramsey County man who officials say had been on the Grand Princess cruise ship -- which is currently offshore near California in quarantine. That patient, officials say, had limited contact with others since getting off the Grand Princess on February 21.

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

The Minnesota Department of Health has established a coronavirus hotline for the public. The hotline is open until 8 p.m. Friday night, March 6 and again from 9 a.m. to 4:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.