Mille Lacs County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The resident of Mille Lacs County who tested positive is in their 60s. 

According to a press release from Mille Lacs County Public Health, the department is working with health officials from the Minnesota Department of Health to evaluate if this person has traveled and who they might have come in contact with. People identified will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

The surrounding counties vary in numbers of cases. Crow Wing County has 17 cases as of April 16. Aitkin, Morrison and Kanabec County have no confirmed cases as of yet. Benton County has one case, Sherburne County has 12 cases and Isanti County has 4 cases. 

Since the outbreak started in December 2019, more than 2,108,000 plus cases and 137,000 plus deaths have been reported worldwide. Those totals include 644,000 plus U.S. cases and 28,500 plus U.S. deaths. Minnesota totals per MN Department of Health on April 15 were 1,809 positive lab confirmed cases and 87 deaths.

In a majority of cases, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in approximately two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. Health officials recommend individuals and families make a plan in case someone gets sick. Recommendations are as follows:

  • Stay home and only go out for essential needs

  • Isolate if you start to show symptoms or 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.

MDH has set up COVID-19 hotlines. For school and child care questions, call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For health questions, call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mille Lacs Health System also has a COVID-19 hotline that can be called. The number is 320-532-2989. 

The Messenger will continue to monitor the pandemic from a local perspective.

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