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Officials announced Sunday that the number of MN confirmed COVID-19 cases has grown to 35

Mar 14, 2020 04:51PM ● By Editor
Samples are tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Health

From Minnesota Public Radio News - March 15, 2020

Minnesota officials announced Sunday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has grown to 35, up from 21 on Saturday.

Gov. Tim Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm announced the new total at a news conference on Sunday morning, as Walz announced a temporary closure of K-12 public schools in the state. The new total is out of about 1,422 patients tested, up from 868 on Saturday.

Cases have now been confirmed in Washington and Waseca counties, health officials reported. Other counties with confirmed cases include Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Stearns and Wright.

"While most have an identified source of exposure, with the limitations that we've discussed on testing capacity nationwide, there's just much we don't know about the potential degree of community transmission in Minnesota," Malcolm said. "As I've said before, it's a matter of when, not if, we will have community spread. And how effectively we can slow down and spread out the growth of this disease in our communities is the key."

Malcolm said most of the cases have not required hospitalization, although she added that one infected person remains critically ill. A second person known to have required hospitalization has been discharged, she said.

More information is expected from state health officials later Sunday.

Meanwhile, Canadian health officials reported Saturday that a resident of Fort Frances, Ontario — just across the border from International Falls, Minn. — has tested positive for COVID-19.

That person had recently returned from travel overseas.

“The individual was seen, assessed and tested in Winnipeg," Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of health for Northwestern Health Unit, said in a news release. “This person is now recovering back at home in Fort Frances and is in self-isolation."

The health agency said "the limited number of persons who have come in close contact with the person are in self-quarantine.”

Check back for updates.

To read the original article and see more COVID-19 reporting, follow this link to the MPR News website.

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