The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed Lake County’s first identified case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, May 6.
The infected person is an adult resident in their 50s. MDH is working to identify and notify all those who may have come in contact with the infected person. Those people will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. No other information about the infected person will be released.
“The appearance of the virus in Lake County has been expected,” said Lake County emergency management director BJ Kohlstedt. “Lake County Emergency Management and Lake County Health and Human Services have been working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health on preparation and mitigation efforts for several months.”
In Minnesota, the first case of COVID-19 was identified on March 6. As of today, 8,579 cases have been identified in 82 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, and 485 Minnesotans have died. Kohlstedt stressed that it is important for people to understand that because testing capabilities have been extremely limited, the number of identified cases does not reflect the actual numbers of cases.
“News of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lake County brings with it a new reality for all Lake County residents,” said Rich Sve, chairman of the Lake County Board of Commissioners. “Understandably, there are many concerns and some angst. In Lake County we have a strong sense of community and public good. Together we will see this through with positive results.”
Sve also encouraged everyone to follow all of the recommendations to mitigate the risk of spreading this virus to family members, friends and neighbors and front-line essential workers.
Accordingly, Kohlstedt stressed the importance of everyone strictly adhering to recommendations to stop the spread, which include:
- Frequently washing hands
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily
- Covering coughs
- Staying home, especially when sick
- Avoiding unnecessary travel
- Social distancing
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory diseases spread, or when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms, and some people may not have any symptoms.
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