State officials say they’re getting daily updates on the advance of coronavirus and taking steps to protect Minnesotans. Doctor Richard Danila with the state Health Department says they received over 90 calls Tuesday from doctors asking if their specific patients with symptoms should be tested for coronavirus. “The only thing that comes to my mind, this was very similar to the very first few days of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic,” he says. But Danila notes with H1N1, officials knew within a few days that thousands of people were infected — while coronavirus has progressed differently.
State health officials are asking the legislature to beef up a public health contingency fund which currently has about 4.6 million dollars in it. Minnesota Health Department spokesman Mike Schommer says, “Our request was for an additional 20.8 million [dollars] to support disease investigation, monitoring, lab analysis, public information and statewide response coordination.”
A House committee reviewed the request Wednesday. A bill has been introduced but the panel did not take a vote.