COVID-19 Update: MDH says cases now at 60

The Minnesota Department of Health, in a press briefing, that six new cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed yesterday, bringing the total to 60.

Three of these 60 patients remain hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

Age range of positive COVID-19 tested patients are from 17 to 94. Three patients are believed to have contracted the virus via community transmission, where the other 57 patients were exposed during travel, both internationally and domestically.

Due to a national shortage of test, Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at MDH, says testing will be prioritized to hospitalized patients, residents of congregate living situations such as a nursing home, and healthcare workers.

“It would be lovely if we could test everyone, but in reality, for individuals in an outpatient setting, a positive diagnostic test does not make a difference in either their care and treatment, or in the recommendation for isolation,” said Ehresmann.

Most of the cases of COVID-19 are mild, where patients are able to recover at home with little medication other than a fever-reducing medication.

Ehresmann says the testing focus on hospitalized patients, or others in high-risk categories such as a nursing home or healthcare workers in any healthcare facility, is because a positive test can make a difference in a patient’s care, or mitigating risk if a healthcare worker contracted the disease.

Hospitalized patients who test positive for COVID-19 may be eligible for experimental antiviral treatments, which aren’t available for COVID-19 patients with only mild symptoms.

Ehresmann confirmed that some of the positive cases were from healthcare workers, and she said MDH is working with those affected healthcare facilities.

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