Minnesota confirms 3rd coronavirus case: Person in their 30s, in critical condition

Scientists administer COVID-19 tests on samples in Minnesota. (FOX 9)

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the state's third coronavirus case Tuesday.

According to officials, the person is an Anoka County resident in their 30s who was likely exposed through contact with international travelers. The patient is currently hospitalized in critical condition. Officials said the patient does not have any "glaringly apparent" underlying health conditions.

The patient developed symptoms Feb. 28 and sought medical help on March 3. They were evaluated and released because that's what their symptoms called for at the time. Then the patient sought care on March 9, and samples were collected and sent to the MDH Public Health Laboratory for testing. The test was found positive earlier Tuesday. MDH is awaiting confirmatory testing from CDC, but health officials consider the presumptive results actionable.

MDH is working with the family of the third patient to get information on potential exposures. They said the individual and family took great care to isolate. Officials are also working to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the infected person. These people will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Minnesota's two other coronavirus patients include a Ramsey County man older than age 65, and a Carver County man in his 50s. As of March 10, the Minnesota Department of Health has tested about 135 samples.

Health officials again 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.

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.