The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirming the state’s first death as a result of COVID-19. The victim was a Ramsey County resident in their 80s who had underlying health conditions. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says “we’ve certainly all been watching the numbers rise, the numbers of cases and the numbers of cases in other countries and other states, but this strikes closer to home and closer to heart.” And Malcolm adds “we do believe there are more cases in Minnesota and that the virus is circulating in communities around the state, so regardless of whether people are in a county with reported cases or not, it’s important that everyone be aware of this health risk and to follow advice on community mitigation and social distancing in order to protect ourselves and each other.” Kris Ehresemann with the State Health Department says there’s been a significant change in the types of cases here and “what we’re seeing is a general shift toward more and more community transmissions, so our early cases were clearly individuals who’d had international, domestic travel exposures and now we’re seeing our cases shift to community transmission.” Officials are urging Minnesotans to take COVID-19 seriously and to continue social distancing and staying home if they’re sick. As of the most recent reporting period, there are 137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota–including a ten-year-old who is homeschooled.
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