The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today reported the first confirmed death of a Minnesota resident due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The death occurred March 19 in a Ramsey County resident in their 80s who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was the contact of an earlier confirmed case, according to an MDH press release.
“Gwen and I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss,” stated. Gov. Tim Walz. “As COVID-19 continues to spread in Minnesota, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said the death underscores the importance of protecting our most vulnerable Minnesotans during the outbreak.
“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the patient,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “We’ve all seen reports of outbreak-related deaths in other states and countries, but this Minnesota death reminds us how important it is to continue working to protect each other during this outbreak.”
Steps that everyone can take to slow the spread of the virus include:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
More information about the coronavirus situation in Minnesota, the U.S. and internationally can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage.
A hotline for the public is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.