'If you're sick, stay home': Minnesota health officials give new guidelines amid COVID-19 outbreak

Minnesota now has 54 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the state, according to state health officials.

Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced that the state now has 54 cases of COVID-19, with 1,893 people tested. The counties with cases include Anoka, Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Sherburne, Stearns, Waseca, Washington and Wright.

Officials said that while many of the cases involve recent travel and contact with COVID-19 patients, some of the cases were a result of community transmission.

The patients range in age from 17-94.

"Most importantly, if you're sick, stay home," MDH Director of Infectious Disease Kris Ehresmann said. "People do not need to be tested for COVID-19 if they're in a situation where they'd be able to manage their symptoms at home; since there is no treatment for mild cases, there is no clinical decision that would be made based on the test result."

MDH said that if you are sick, stay home for at least seven days and at least three days without a fever (without fever-reducing medication.)

There is now another hotline set up by the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Education. It is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can be reached at 1-800-657-3504. In the metro, you can call 651-297-1304.


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.

The Minnesota Department of Health stressed the importance of all Minnesotans continuing to do those things that can limit the spread of the coronavirus:

  • 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

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.