5 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Minnesota

There are now five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Minnesota, state health officials confirmed Wednesday. 

The two new cases reported on Wednesday are a person in their 50s in Olmsted County and a person in their 30s in Ramsey County. Both patients had traveled internationally. Both are recovering at home. 

The state’s third case of COVID-19 was reported on Tuesday in Anoka County. The patient is a person in their 30s who was likely exposed through contact with international travelers. The patient is currently hospitalized in critical condition. 

Minnesota's two other coronavirus patients include a Ramsey County man older than age 65, and a Carver County man in his 50s. 

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. There are now more than 121,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza is spread. It can also spread when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately. For more information from the CDC, click here.

More information about coronavirus can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website. MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.