Rice County Public Health Department Director Deb Purfeerst gave an update today (April 14, 2020) on the latest lab confirmed COVID-19 case in the county.  A fifth lab confirmed case was reported to her department on April 13th by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Purfeerst says, "Limited information indicates that the case is in their 40's, not hospitalized and had contact with a lab confirmed case."

The latest numbers released by the State Department of Health showed 1,695 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 since January 20, 2020 with approximately 39,241 tests administered.  405 cases have required hospitalization and there have been 79 deaths.

"The Stay Home and Limit Movement order which was extended to May 4th along with Governor Walz's extension of Minnesota's peacetime emergency for 30 days", Purfeerst adds, "will help Minnesota continue many of the public health and economic relief measures to help us effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Rice County Public Health Director says, Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by simply staying home if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, whichever is longer and avoid close contact with people who are sick."

She also recommends to, "Avoid touching your face, maintain 6 foot distancing whenever possible.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.  Cover your coughs and sneezes."

Purfeerst adds updated guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health website on recommended community mitigation strategies can be found at the link provided above.

Additional information about COVID-19 is also available on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

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