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Update on coronavirus cases in lakes area

Screenshot of an Infogram graphic featuring data collected by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus among north-central Minnesota counties remained relatively static this week, although the area’s first related death was reported in Mille Lacs County.

Most recently, Cass County added two cases Thursday, April 23, for a total of five. On Monday, Crow Wing County saw three more confirmed cases among county residents, bringing its total to 20 cases. Morrison County recorded its first case of COVID-19 last weekend.

While these represent the laboratory-confirmed cases, state health officials have repeatedly warned these numbers are likely a significant undercount of the true number of those infected with COVID-19. Minnesotans should assume the disease is circulating in all communities, MDH states. With Gov. Tim Walz announcing Wednesday a partnership with the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic to dramatically increase testing for the disease, as well as antibodies in the state, officials are hoping this will lead to a clearer picture.

Cases by county as of April 24

  • Aitkin — 1.

  • Cass — 5.

  • Crow Wing — 20.

  • Mille Lacs — 1, with 1 death.

  • Morrison — 1.

  • Todd — 3.

  • Wadena — 0.

Compiled from Minnesota Department of Health data.


Symptoms, recommendations and resources

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 about 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. They also suggest following the same steps for avoiding the flu:

  • Stay home and away from others if sick.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue.

  • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.

  • Avoid touching the face.

The Minnesota Department of Health has set up COVID-19 hotlines available every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • School and child care questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.

  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.

Visit cdc.gov and health.state.mn.us for more information about COVID-19.

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