COVID-19 MOLECULAR STRUCTURE

Illustrated is an image showing the ultrastructural morphology of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness now considered a worldwide pandemic.

McLeod County has a second lab confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Health published the addition Thursday but provided no other information.

All investigations in the state are conducted by MDH. Positive cases are isolated at home to prevent disease spread. Close contacts identified are quarantined and monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms for 14 days following exposure.

At the McLeod County Board meeting Tuesday morning, McLeod County Health and Human Services interim director Meghan Mohs asked residents to stay the course.

"We are not seeing the surge yet that they are seeing in other states," she said, "so people might think it won't happen. But it will. The goal right now is to actively continue to delay the surge."

Holding off a surge in COVID-19 cases means hospitals have more time to prepare. Mohs asked people to continue washing their hands regularly, to cover coughs and sneezes and to maintain social distancing.

She also said stories of people helping their neighbors and communities by making masks was good news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending people wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 where social distancing is hard to maintain. The masks help people avoid spreading the disease to others, even when they may not be showing symptoms.

"We are going to see a large number of cases in Minnesota," Mohs said.

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in McLeod County, but health experts believe there are cases that have not been diagnosed.

Gov. Tim Walz' stay at home order was extended through May 4.

— Jeremy Jones

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